The “right-to-work” movement is a result of the Taft-Hartley Act, which amended the Wagner Act to include language that affirmed the rights of individual states to enact their own “right-to-work” laws, which make it illegal in those states for employers to compel workers to join or not join, nor to pay dues to, a labor union as a condition of employment.
In states without right-to-work laws, workers who don’t join unions or at least pay some sort of fee can be terminated for such actions. (Employees in right-to-work states can still join a union if they wish, however.)
NOTE: Certain industries and public-sector jobs may have different rules/regulations regarding unionization. Additionally, while we make every effort to update this information as possible, please refer to each state’s labor agency for the most up-to-date information on its right-to-work law.
There are 27 states that have passed “right-to-work” legislation — either by statute or constitutional ammendment.
List of right-to-work states:
|Indiana||North Carolina||West Virginia|
There has been a consistent push from some groups to introduce national right-to-work legislation over the years, with the most recent large-scale push coming in February 2017, when House Republicans introduced a bill that would prohibit workers nationwide from being forced join or support a labor union. As of yet, however, there is no such law on the books.
Check out our interactive map to see if your state has a right-to-work law.
This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.