Implementing Full and Partial Work Sanctions: The Case of Texas

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study examines the implementation of work sanctions in Texas, a state that switched from partial to full benefit sanctions. A qualitative research design is used consisting of 255 individual case studies obtained from administrative fair hearing data under Texas’s full and partial sanction regimes. Recipients’ explanations for not complying with the work rules and how workers assessed these explanations and whether sanctions were appropriate are examined. This study found that recipients’ reasons for not complying with work rules were similar for both full and partial sanctions. The primary reasons for their noncompliance were family obstacles and situational challenges or lack of notice. Workers responses under both regimes were also very similar, with workers using their discretion to apply sanctions punitively. Workers focused on the paper-processing tasks of sanctioning rather than the larger goal of encouraging self-sufficiency, with workers failing to distinguish between procedural and substantive violations of the work rules.

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