2012 Right-to-Work Legislation

workers

Under right-to-work laws, states have the authority to determine whether workers can be required to join a labor union to get or keep a job.

Nineteen states debated right-to-work legislation during the 2012 session.  Laws were passed in four states, two of which either established or expanded right-to-work laws and two of which added enforcement or notice provisions to their current right-to-work laws. 

In December 2012, Michigan became the 24th state to pass a right-to-work law.  Indiana expanded its right-to-work provisions from covering just school employees, to covering all private sector employment.


Summary of 2012 Enacted Right-to-Work Laws

Indiana passed HB 1001, which extended right-to-work provisions to private sector employment.  Prior to this session, Indiana already had a right-to-work law but it applied only to school employees; this law adopted right-to-work for all private sector employment.

Michigan passed two bills making the state a right-to-work state.  HB 4003 enacted right-to-work for private sector employment, while SB 116 adopted right-to-work covering public employment.

South Carolina passed HB 4652, adopted harsher penalties for violations of the state’s right-to-work law and requiring reporting of violations to the state.

Tennessee adopted SB 2821, requiring employers to post notices of the state’s right-to-work law.


2012 Introduced and Enacted Legislative Bills

(Includes active carry-over legislation for those states with biennial sessions.)
 
ALASKA
AK H 134  Gatto (R)
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Relates to the relationship between employees and labor organizations; prohibits collective bargaining contracts that require employees to join a labor or employee organization; extends the policy and limitations set out in this Act to public employers and public employees subject to the Public Employment Relations Act; provides for an effective date.
01/31/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Labor and Commerce. To House Committee on Judiciary.
 
HAWAII
HI S 278  Slom (R)
Title:  Labor
Summary:  Protects individual's right to gainful employment regardless of nonmembership in any labor organization.
01/21/2011  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor.
 
IDAHO
ID HJM 6  House State Affairs Committee
Title:  Right To Work
Summary:  States the findings of the Legislature and resolving that it is a compelling state interest of the Legislature to protect the right to work for all Idahoans, union and nonunion, under the authority granted by Congress of the National Labor Relations Act, by proscribing compulsory unionism as a condition of employment via anti-competitive rebates of employee wages to subsidize a contractor or subcontractor doing business in the state of Idaho.
01/26/2012  Introduced.
01/27/2012  To House Committee on State Affairs.
 
INDIANA
IN H 1001  Torr (R)
Title:  Employees Right to Work
Summary:  Relates to employee's right to work; makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to join or remain a member of a labor organization, pay dues or fees, to a labor organization; or pay to a charity or third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment; establishes a separate private right of action for violations or threatened violations; exempts certain government entities.  (Prior to this session, Indiana already had a right-to-work law but it applied only to school employees; this law adopts right-to-work for all private sector employment.)
01/04/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions.
01/11/2012  From House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions: Do pass.
01/23/2012  Amended on House floor.
01/25/2012  Passed House. To Senate.
01/26/2012  To Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor.
01/30/2012  From Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor: Do pass.
01/31/2012  Ordered Engrossed.
02/01/2012  Passed Senate. Eligible for Governor’s desk.
02/01/2012  Signed by Governor.
02/06/2012  Public Law No. 2
 
IN H 1104  McClain (R)
Title:  Right To Work Pilot Program
Summary:  Relates to right to work pilot program; establishes a right to work pilot program; provides that the Indiana economic development corporation administers the pilot program; requires the corporation to implement the pilot program in at least one region of Indiana by May 1, 2012; provides that the pilot program: makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to: become or remain a member of a labor organization; pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization; or pay to a charity.
01/04/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions.
 
IN H 1105  McClain (R)
Title:  Employees Right To Work
Summary:  Relates to employee's right to work; makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an employer to require an individual to: become or remain a member of a labor organization; pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization; or pay to a charity or another third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization; as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
01/04/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions.
 
IN H 1296  McClain (R)
Title:  Employees Right To Work
Summary:  Relates to employee's right to work; makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to become or remain a member of a labor organization, pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization or pay to a charity or another third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment; establishes a separate private right of action for violations or threatened violations.
01/10/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions.
 
IN S 269  Yoder (R)
Title:  Employees Right To Work
Summary:  Relates to employee's right to work; makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual to: become or remain a member of a labor organization; pay dues, fees, or other charges to a labor organization; or pay to a charity or another third party an amount that represents dues, fees, or other charges required of members of a labor organization; as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
01/04/2012  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor.
01/09/2012  From Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor: Do pass.
01/20/2012  Amended on Senate floor.
01/23/2012  Passed Senate. To House.
02/13/2012  To House Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures.
 
IOWA
IA D 1510  House Labor Committee
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Relates to right to work.
01/24/2011  Filed.
01/28/2011  Assigned to House File: 149. Additionally assigned to Senate File: 84.
12/23/2011  Additionally assigned to Senate Study Bill: 1125. Additionally assigned to Senate File: 142.
 
IA H 3  Horbach (R)
Title:  Right to Work State
Summary:  Relates to the promotion of Iowa as a right to work state; requires the placement of the phrase, Iowa is a Right to Work State on the department of economic development's business recruitment, tourism, and promotional literature.
01/11/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa.
01/20/2011  In House Committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa. Withdrawn from House Committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa. Rereferred to House Committee on Labor.
01/28/2011  In House. Becomes House File 149.
 
IA H 149  House Labor Committee
Title:  Right to Work State
Summary:  Relates to the promotion of Iowa as a right to work state; requires the placement of the phrase, "Iowa is a Right to Work State" on the department of economic development's business recruitment, promotional, and, if deemed appropriate by the department, tourism literature.
01/28/2011  Introduced. In House. Formerly House File 3. Filed as Draft: 1510.
01/31/2011  In House. Filed Amendments.
02/01/2011  In House. Filed Amendments.
02/02/2011  In House. Withdrew Amendments. Passed House. To Senate.
02/03/2011  To Senate committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa.
02/07/2011  In Senate Committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa.
 
IA S 45  Zaun (R)
Title:  Promotion of Iowa As a Right to Work State
Summary:  Relates to the promotion of Iowa as a right to work state; requires the placement of the phrase, Iowa is a Right to Work State in the following places: on each state owned vehicle; provides that on the department of economic development's business recruitment, tourism, and promotional literature; provides that on each new sign the department of transportation erects on scenic highways.
01/18/2011  Introduced. To Senate Committee on State Government.
01/20/2011  In Senate Committee on State Government.
 
IA S 84  Anderson B (R)
Title:  Promotion of Iowa As a Right to Work State
Summary:  Relates to the promotion of Iowa as a right to work state; requires the placement of the phrase, "Iowa is a Right to Work State" on the department of economic development's business recruitment, tourism, and promotional literature.
01/24/2011  Introduced. Filed as Draft: 1510. To Senate Committee on Economic Growth/Rebuild Iowa.
 
MAINE
ME H 595  Winsor (R)
Title:  Forced Payment and Labor Union Dues
Summary:  Guarantees workers free choice in deciding whether to join or refrain from joining labor unions; prohibits employers from deducting fees from nonunion employees without written consent; prohibits requiring an agricultural employee to join, support or pay any type of union dues or fees of any type to any union, employee association or bargaining agent; prohibits terminating or disciplining an agricultural employee for not paying any union dues.
02/28/2011  Introduced. Filed as LR 491
03/01/2011  House refers to Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development. Senate refers to Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development in concurrence.
05/16/2011  From Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development: Joint Rule 309.
06/01/2011  House indefinitely postpones.
06/02/2011  Senate indefinitely postpones.
 
MARYLAND
MD S 715  Kittleman A (R)
Title:  Labor Organization
Summary:  Prohibits an employer from refusing to employ or continue employing an individual based on membership or nonmembership in a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to refrain from joining or from requiring an individual to become a member of a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to pay specified charges to a labor organization.
02/03/2012  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Finance.
 
MD S 6 b  Kittleman A (R)
Title:  Labor Organization Prohibition
Summary:  Prohibits an employer from refusing to employ or continue employing an individual based on membership or nonmembership in a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to refrain from joining or becoming a member of a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to pay specified charges to a labor organization.
08/09/2012  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Rules.
 
MICHIGAN
MI H 4003  Opsommer (R)
Title:  Public Sector Employer Relations
Summary:  Establishes Michigan as a right-to-work state.  Prohibits mandatory participation in bargaining agreements and as a condition of employment in the public sector.
01/13/2011  Introduced
01/13/2011  Read a first time
01/13/2011  referred to Committee on Commerce
01/18/2011  Printed bill filed 01/14/2011
04/26/2011  Reported with recommendation for referral to Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors
04/26/2011  Recommendation concurred in
05/24/2011  Reported with recommendation without amendment
05/24/2011  Referred to second reading
06/07/2011  Read a second time
06/07/2011  Placed on third reading
06/08/2011  Read a third time
06/08/2011  Passed; given immediate effect Roll Call # 166 Yeas 63 Nays 46
06/08/2011  Transmitted
06/09/2011  Referred to Committee on Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing
12/01/2011  Reported Favorably Without Amendment
12/01/2011  Committee Recommended Immediate Effect
12/01/2011  Referred to Committee of the Whole
12/06/2012  Reported by Committee of the Whole Favorably With Substitute S-8
12/06/2012  Substitute S-8 Concurred in
12/06/2012  Placed on Order of Third Reading With Substitute S-8
12/06/2012  Rules Suspended
12/06/2012  Placed on Immediate Passage
12/06/2012  Amendment(s) Defeated
12/06/2012  Passed Roll Call # 863 Yeas 22 Nays 4 Excused 0 Not Voting 12
12/06/2012  Immediate Effect Defeated
12/06/2012  returned from Senate with substitute S-8 with title amendment
12/06/2012  laid over one day under the rules
12/11/2012  Senate substitute S-8 concurred in
12/11/2012  Roll Call # 721 Yeas 58 Nays 51
12/11/2012  Title amendment agreed to
12/11/2012  Bill ordered enrolled
12/11/2012  Presented to the Governor 12/11/2012 @ 4:44 PM
12/12/2012  Approved by the Governor 12/11/2012 @ 5:21 PM
12/12/2012  Filed with Secretary of State 12/11/2012 @ 5:39 PM
12/12/2012  Assigned PA 349-2012
 
MI H 4054  Knollenberg (R)
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Permits local right to work zones.
01/13/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Commerce.
 
MI S 116  Meekhof (R)
Title:  Private Sector Employer Relations
Summary:  Establishes Michigan as a right-to-work state.  Allows local governments to establish right-to-work zones. Prohibits mandatory participation in bargaining agreements and as a condition of employment in the private sector.
02/09/2011  Referred to Committee on Economic Development
12/06/2012  Discharge Committee Approved
12/06/2012  Placed on Order of General Orders
12/06/2012  Reported by Committee of the Whole Favorably With Substitute S-3
12/06/2012  Substitute S-3 Concurred in
12/06/2012  Placed on Order of Third Reading With Substitute S-3
12/06/2012  Rules Suspended
12/06/2012  Placed on Immediate Passage
12/06/2012  Amendment(s) Defeated
12/06/2012  Passed Roll Call # 862 Yeas 22 Nays 16 Excused 0 Not Voting 0
12/06/2012  Received on 12/06/2012
12/06/2012  Read a first time
12/06/2012  Referred to Committee on Commerce
12/06/2012  Notice given to discharge committee
12/11/2012  Motion to discharge committee approved
12/11/2012  Placed on second reading
12/11/2012  Read a second time
12/11/2012  Placed on third reading
12/11/2012  Placed on immediate passage
12/11/2012  Read a third time
12/11/2012  Passed Roll Call # 724 Yeas 58 Nays 52
12/11/2012  Notice of intent to reconsider given
12/11/2012  Notice of intent withdrawn
12/11/2012  Returned to Senate
12/11/2012  Ordered Enrolled Out of Session
12/12/2012  Presented to Governor 12/11/2012 @ 4:46 PM
12/12/2012  Approved by Governor 12/11/2012 @ 5:19 PM
12/12/2012  Filed With Secretary of State 12/11/2012 @ 5:37 PM
12/12/2012  Assigned PA 0348-2012
 
MI S 120  Proos (R)
Title:  Right to Work Zones
Summary:  Allows local governments to establish right-to-work zones.
02/09/2011  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Economic Development.
 
MINNESOTA
MN H 3009  Wardlow (R)
Title:  Freedom of Employment
Summary:  Proposes an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article I, by adding a section; establishes a freedom of employment.
04/20/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Commerce and Regulatory Reform.
 
MISSISSIPPI
MS S 2144  Flowers (R)
Title:  Right To Work
Summary:  Relates to the right to work; provides that the right to work shall not be infringed or restricted in any way based on membership in, affiliation with, or financial support of a labor organization or on the refusal to join, affiliate with, or financially or otherwise support a labor organization; authorizes employers to deduct union fees from an employee's wages with the employee's signed written authorization.
01/16/2012  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Judiciary, Division A.
03/06/2012  Died in committee.
 
NEW HAMPSHIRE
NH H 474  Smith W (R)
Title:  Labor Union Freedom of Choice
Summary:  Relates to freedom of choice on whether to join a labor union; prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union.
01/06/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services. Filed as LSR 609
02/10/2011  From House Committee on Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services: Majority reported ought to pass with amendment. From House Committee on Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services: Minority reported ought not to pass.
02/15/2011  Committee amendment adopted on House floor. Passed House. To Senate.
03/30/2011  To Senate Committee on Commerce.
04/13/2011  From Senate Committee on Commerce: Ought to pass with amendment.
04/20/2011  Committee amendment adopted on Senate floor. Passed Senate. To House for concurrence.
05/04/2011  House concurred in Senate amendments. Eligible for Governor’s desk. Ordered Enrolled.
05/11/2011  Vetoed by Governor.
 
NH LSR 609  Smith W (R)
Title:  Freedom of Choice and Labor Unions
Summary:  Relates to freedom of choice on whether to join a labor union.
12/01/2010  Filed.
01/06/2011  Assigned Bill Number: H 474
 
NH LSR 2777  Ward J (R)
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Relates to the right to work.
06/29/2011  Filed.
12/21/2011  Assigned Bill Number: H 1570.
 
NEW JERSEY
NJ A 136  Handlin (R)
Title:  Right To Work Act
Summary:  Establishes the New Jersey Right to Work Act; prohibits payroll deduction of union dues from wages or salaries of public employees.
01/10/2012  Introduced. To Assembly Committee on Labor.
 
PENNSYLVANIA
PA H 50  Metcalfe (R)
Title:  Union Membership as a Condition of Employment
Summary:  Provides that public and private employment shall not be conditional upon membership or nonmembership in, nor upon the payment or nonpayment of money to, a labor organization; provides for bargaining, penalties and remedies.
04/04/2011  Filed.
04/05/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Labor and Industry. Corrective reprint issued.
 
RHODE ISLAND
RI H 5881  Trillo (R)
Title:  Labor and Labor Relations
Summary:  Would enact the Rhode Island right to work act, making union membership and union dues voluntary. This act would take effect upon passage.
03/08/2011  Introduced. To House Committee on Labor.
03/30/2011  Scheduled for hearing and/or consideration. In House Committee on Labor. Committee Recommends Measure held for further study.
 
SOUTH CAROLINA
SC H 4652  Sandifer (R)
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Relates to the public right to work policy; provides a range for an applicable fine for right to work violations; relates to court remedies to a person for a violation of his or her right to work; permits treble damages; requires a person seeking relief to provide the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation with the basis for a lawsuit; provides an employer or an employee with permission may post a notice concerning the rights of an employee; requires certain employer reports.
01/24/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
02/02/2012  From House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry: Majority reported favorably, minority unfavorable.
02/08/2012  Amended on House floor.
02/09/2012  Passed House. To Senate. To Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
05/24/2012  From Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry: Reported favorably with amendment.
05/29/2012  Committee amendment adopted on Senate floor.
05/30/2012  Passed Senate. To House for concurrence.
06/05/2012  House concurred in Senate amendments. Ordered enrolled.
06/06/2012  To Governor.
06/07/2012  Signed by Governor.
06/18/2012  Act No. 197
 
TENNESSEE
TN H 2924  Sparks (R)
Title:  Labor and Public Policies
Summary:  Relates to Labor; establishes certain public policies for employees under right to work law; provides for employers to post certain notices; provides for certain enforcement responsibilities by the department of labor and workforce development.
01/23/2012  Introduced.
01/26/2012  To House Committee on Consumer and Employee Affairs.
01/31/2012  In House Interim Committee on Consumer and Employee Affairs: Referred to General Subcommittee.
03/14/2012  In House Committee on Consumer and Employee Affairs: General Subcommittee - recommended passage as amended.
03/20/2012  From House Committee on Consumer and Employee Affairs: Recommend passage with amendment. To House Committee on Calendar and Rules.
03/27/2012  Placed on Regular Calendar.
04/02/2012  In House. Amendment adopted on House floor. No. 1 Placed on Regular Calendar.
04/05/2012  In House. Substituted on House floor by S 2821
 
TN S 2821  Kelsey (R)
Title:  Labor
Summary:  Relates to Labor; establishes certain public policies for employees under the right to work law; provides for employers to post notices of an employee’s rights under the right to work law; provides for enforcement responsibilities by the department of labor and workforce development; requires the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development shall create model notice language.
01/24/2012  Introduced.
01/26/2012  To Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture.
03/27/2012  From Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Agriculture: Recommend passage with amendment. To Senate Committee on Calendar.
04/02/2012  Placed on Regular Calendar.
04/04/2012  In Senate. Amendment adopted on Senate floor. No. 1 In Senate. Read third time. Passed Senate. To House.
04/05/2012  In House. Read second time. Held on desk. In House. Substituted on House floor for H 2924 In House. Read third time. Passed House. Eligible for Governor’s desk.
04/13/2012  To Governor.
04/26/2012  Signed by Governor.
04/30/2012  Public Chaptered. Chapter No. 826
 
VIRGINIA
VA HJR 7  Bell Ri (R)
Title:  Right To Work Constitutional Amendment
Summary:  Proposes a constitutional amendment; relates to right to work; provides that any agreement or combination between any employer and any labor union or labor organization whereby persons not members of such union or organization shall be denied the right to work for the employer, or whereby such membership is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer is against public policy and an illegal combination or conspiracy.
12/21/2011  Prefiled. To House Committee on Privileges and Elections.
01/11/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Privileges and Elections.
02/14/2012  Left in committee.
 
VA HJR 536  Bell Ri (R)
Title:  Right To Work
Summary:  Proposes a constitutional amendment; relates to right to work; provides that any agreement between any employer and any labor union or organization whereby persons not members of such union or organization are denied the right to work or such membership is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or any such union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any enterprise, is against public policy and constitutes an illegal combination or conspiracy.
07/24/2012  Prefiled.
 
VA SJR 25  McDougle (R)
Title:  Right To Work
Summary:  Proposes a constitutional amendment that relates to constitutional amendment (first resolution); relates to right to work.
01/09/2012  Prefiled. To Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
01/11/2012  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections.
01/17/2012  In Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections: Continued to 2013.
 
WASHINGTON
WA S 5347  Swecker (R)
Title:  Right to Work
Summary:  Protects the right to work.
01/21/2011  Introduced. To Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection.
04/26/2011  2011 First Special Session. - Reintroduced and retained in present status.
11/28/2011  2011 Second Special Session. - Reintroduced and retained in present status.
01/09/2012  2012 Regular Session - Reintroduced and retained in present status.
04/04/2012  By Order of Resolution - Reintroduced and retained in present status.
04/11/2012  2012 Second Special Session - Reintroduced and retained in present status.
 
WEST VIRGINIA
WV H 2050  Overington (R)
Title:  Right to Work Law
Summary:  Concerns the West Virginia Right to Work Law.
01/11/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business.
 
WV H 4040  Kump (R)
Title:  Labor Unions
Summary:  Prohibits employers and labor unions from requiring employees to become or remain members of labor unions as a condition of employment.
01/12/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business.
 
WV HJR 30  Overington (R)
Title:  Right to Work Amendment
Summary:  Proposes a constitutional amendment; Concerns the Right to Work Amendment.
01/11/2012  Introduced. To House Committee on Constitutional Revision.