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.
More than half of states have passed “right-to-work” legislation. On February 6, 2017, Missouri became the twenty-eighth right-to-work state.
Check out our interactive map to see if your state has a right-to-work law.
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.
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.