What is a "right to work" state?
Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC
The National Labor Relations Act permits a state to enact statutes that prohibit an employer and a union from reaching an agreement requiring an employee's membership in the union or payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment, either before or after hiring. These states that prohibit such agreements are called "right to work" states. Currently, there are 25 "right to work" states:
- North Carolina;
- North Dakota;
- South Carolina;
- South Dakota;
- Wisconsin; and
Note that on July 1, 2016, West Virginia's "right to work" law became effective. However, a court recently granted a preliminary injunction and temporarily suspended the new law.