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What Is a Right-To-Work Law?

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By Hannah Rush
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A right-to-work law is legislation that restricts the ability of employers to impose their own rules on their workers. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers cannot compel employees to join a union. As a result, employees can choose whether or not to become members. Once members have joined a union, they can choose to resign. Nonmembers can only be required to cover a proportionate share of the union’s proven bargaining costs, and they can challenge those costs. Exceptions exist, however.

what is a right to work law

Federal right-to-work laws are called Taft-Hartley Acts, and they prohibit closed shops and other practices that discriminate against workers. They also restrict the ability of union leaders to use union dues to support specific candidates. To solve this problem, some unions set up fees for non-members to cover the costs of collective bargaining and negotiating union contracts. These fees are referred to as “fair share” fees and are often a fraction of what a member pays.

During the first year of operation, Michigan’s right-to-work law reduced unemployment from 10.4% in 2011 to 8.7% in 2013. The governor’s budget proposal for 2014 states that the growing auto industry will lower unemployment to 8.3% in 2014 and 7.5% in 2015. In 2016, the state’s per-capita income will increase from $38,291 to $38,215, according to the Michigan Department of Commerce.

The main goal of a right-to-work law is to prevent the forced unionization of employees. Critics argue that this kind of legislation gives unionized workers more benefits without having to pay dues. Currently, more than half of states have adopted such laws. The purpose is to allow employees to choose whether to join a union. Furthermore, a right-to-work law prohibits employers from forcing their employees to join a union and pay its dues.

The National Right-to-Work Committee and the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Fund were founded following the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. The law prohibited employers from hiring only unionized workers and created the term “union shop.” Ultimately, however, the Taft-Hartley Act allows individual states to prohibit union shops. These are called “Right-to-work” laws.

The concept of a right-to-work law is a controversial topic in the United States. It is important to understand how these laws affect the rights of workers. In general, a right-to-work law means that employers are not required to pay unions dues unless they want to. In the U.S., it means that the union can charge agency fees to its employees, regardless of their status.

Currently, 24 states have right-to-work laws in place. Those in the state of Michigan and Indiana enacted the first one in 2012. Several other states have debated or passed a right-to-work law in the past year. During the 2017 midterm elections, a right-to-work law in Missouri was held in abeyance pending a veto referendum. It was later repealed by the U.S. Congress.

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