2014 Right-to-Work Legislation

12/5/2014

Summary

Twenty-four states currently have right-to-work laws, which prohibit requiring that employees or potential employees join or continue membership in a labor union, as a condition of employment. Labor unions may still operate in those states, but workers cannot be compelled to become members as a requirement of their job or to be hired.

During the 2014 legislative session, bills related to right to work were introduced in 20 states but no additional states became right-to-work states. The only state to enact a related law was Tennessee, which adopted a right-to-work statute in 1947. The 2014 law prohibits any unit of government from enacting ordinances or regulations that infringe on rights guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act, including provisions related to collective bargaining.

2014 Legislation

ALABAMA

AL S 127
Sponsor: Dial (R)
Title: Labor Unions or Organizations
Summary: Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. Declares that it is the public policy of Alabama that the right of persons to work may not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in a labor union or labor organization. Prohibits an agreement to deny the right to work, or condition of prospective employment, on account of membership or nonmembership in a labor union or labor organization. Status: 04/01/2014 Indefinitely postponed.

DELAWARE

DE S 213
Sponsor: Lavelle (R)
Title: Right to Work Zones
Summary: Allows the director of the Delaware Economic Development Office to create right-to-work zones as part of its inducements to bring new businesses to Delaware and requires these zones to be offered for manufacturing businesses hiring at least 20 employees. Exempts those manufacturing businesses from their gross receipts taxes for their first five years. Status: 05/07/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations.

DE S 250
Sponsor: Bonini (R)
Title: Right to Work
Summary: Creates a right-to-work law in Delaware. Status: 06/10/2014 To Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations.

GEORGIA

GA H 144
Sponsor: Kirby (R)
Title: Labor Organizations
Summary: Relates to labor organizations and labor relations. Provides for public policy declaring Georgia a free-to-work state. Provides for the right to employment without retribution for refusal to join or affiliate with a labor union or other employee organization. Status: 01/31/2013 In House: Read 2nd time.

HAWAII

HI S 261
Sponsor: Slom (R)
Title: Right to Gainful Employment
Summary: Protects individual's right to gainful employment regardless of non-membership in any labor organization. Status: 03/06/2014 Failed First Crossover Deadline, Second Year of Biennium.

ILLINOIS

IL H 3160
Sponsor: Ives (R)
Title: Workers Rights Act
Summary: Creates the Workers Rights Act. Provides that no person shall be required as a condition of obtaining or continuing public-sector or private-sector employment to resign or refrain from membership in, voluntary affiliation with, or voluntary financial support of, a labor organization. Status: 03/22/2013 Rereferred to House Committee on Rules.

IOWA

IA HJR 1
Sponsor: Forristall (R)
Title: Labor Union Membership
Summary: Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the state of Iowa relating to labor union membership. Provides that a person shall not be deprived of the right to work for any employer because of membership in, or refusal to join a labor union. Status: 01/16/2013 In House Committee on Labor.

KENTUCKY

KY H 496
Sponsor: Hoover (R)
Title: Contracts
Summary: Relates to contracts. Prohibits mandatory membership in or financial support of a labor organization as a condition of employment and to name this section as the Kentucky Right to Work Act; conform.. Makes a violation of the act a Class A misdemeanor, award damages, and provide injunctive relief. Creates new sections of KRS Chapter 336 to exempt existing contracts or agreements. Requires the attorney general to investigate complaints and prosecute. Status: 03/07/2014 Posted in committee.

MAINE

ME H 582
Sponsor: Lockman (R)
Title: Conditions of Employment
Summary: Prohibits a person from being required to join a labor organization or pay any labor organization dues or fees as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, notwithstanding any state law to the contrary. A violation is a Class D crime and is also subject to civil damages and injunctive relief. The attorney general is responsible for enforcement and is required to prosecute all violations. LD: 831. Status: 04/25/2013 Senate adopts Majority Committee Report: Ought not to pass.

MARYLAND

MD H 435
Sponsor: Miller W (R)
Title: Labor and Employment
Summary: Relates to labor organizations and the right to work. Status: 02/25/2014 From House Committee on Economic Matters: Reported unfavorably.

MASSACHUSETTS

MA H 2275
Sponsor: Cronin (D)
Title: Union Employee Fair Payment
Summary: Relates to the payment of fair share provisions of employees choosing not to join a union. Status: 06/18/2014 From Joint Committee on Public Service: Accompanied Study Order H 4189.

MA H 2823
Sponsor: Jones (R)
Title: Public Construction
Summary: Prohibits the use of union-only requirements in public construction. Provides that no awarding authority shall require or prohibit bidders, contractors, or subcontractors to enter into or adhere to agreements with labor organizations, on the same or related projects, or discriminate against bidders, contractors, subcontractors, or operators for joining or adhering to agreements with one or more labor organizations, on the same or other related public works projects. Status: 06/04/2014 From Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight: Accompanied Study Order H 4143.

MICHIGAN

MI S 1006
Sponsor: Moolenaar (R)
Title: Federal Labor Laws
Summary: Prohibits local units of government from adopting ordinances or regulations that infringe on federal labor laws. Prohibits employers and labor organizations from waiving rights under this act. Status: 07/16/2014 To Senate Committee on Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing.

MISSOURI

MO H 1143
Sponsor: White (R)
Title: Labor Organization Requirement for Continued Employment
Summary: Specifies that no person as a condition or continuation of employment can be required to become or refrain from becoming a member of or paying dues to a labor organization. Status: 02/10/2014 In House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety: Voted do pass.

MO H 1770
Sponsor: Burlison (R)
Title: Private Labor Organization Employment Condition
Summary: Prohibits employers from requiring people to become members of a private labor organization as a condition of employment. Provides for a referendum. Status: 04/09/2014 Amended on House floor. Perfected.

MO H 1772
Sponsor: Rehder (R)
Title: Freedom To Work Act
Summary: Creates the Freedom to Work Act. Status: 03/05/2014 To House Committee on Rules.

MO HJR 78
Sponsor: Marshall (R)
Title: Right of An Individual To Work
Summary: Proposes a constitutional amendment specifying that the right of an individual to work cannot be denied or abridged on account of his or her membership or lack of it in any labor organization or labor union. Status: 02/26/2014 To House Committee on Workforce Development and Workplace Safety.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NH H 323
Sponsor: O'Brien W (R)
Title: Franklin Partin Right To Work Act
Summary: Prohibits collective bargaining agreements that require employees to join a labor union. Status: 02/13/2013 Failed to pass House.

NH LSR 247
Sponsor: O'Brien W (R)
Title: Franklin Partin Right-to-Work Act
Summary: Establishes the Franklin Partin Right-to-Work Act. Status: 01/17/2013 Assigned Bill Number: H 323.

NORTH CAROLINA

NC H 6
Sponsor: Tillis (R), Moffitt (R), Murry (R)
Title: Voting Rights
Summary: Amends the North Carolina Constitution to guarantee the right of an individual to work; to make illegal contracts between a unit of government and a labor organization as bargaining agent concerning public employees; and to preserve the right of an individual to vote by secret ballot for an election, designation, or authorization for employee representation by a labor organization. Status: 01/31/2013 To House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

NC H 53
Sponsor: Tillis (R) Moffitt (R), Murry (R), Goodman (D)
Title: Right Of An Individual To Work
Summary: Amends the North Carolina Constitution to guarantee the right of an individual to work; to make illegal any contract between a state or local governmental entity and a labor organization as bargaining agent concerning government employees; and to preserve the right of an individual to vote by secret ballot for an election, designation, or authorization for employee representation by a labor organization. Status: 02/04/2013 To House Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

NC H 872
Sponsor: Moffitt (R), Murry (R), Warren (R), Stam (R)
Title: Protect Right-To-Work
Summary: Protects the right to work by making it an unenforceable unfair trade practice for any contract to require a contractor or subcontractor to use unionized labor. Status: 11/01/2013 Carried Over to 2014 General Assembly Second Session.

RHODE ISLAND

RI S 150
Sponsor: Kettle (R)
Title: Education
Summary: Would enact the Rhode Island teachers' right-to-work act, making union membership and union dues voluntary, and enabling those exercising their rights there-under to bargain independently with their employers. Status: 01/24/2013 To Senate Committee on Labor.

TENNESSEE

TN S 1017
Sponsor: Bell (R)
Title: Right to Work
Summary: Relates to the right to work. Prohibits any governmental body from passing any law, ordinance or regulation that requires any employer to waive its rights under the National Labor Relations Act and that any contract in violation of these provisions is null and void. Status: 04/25/2013 Signed by governor.
05/01/2013 Public Chapter No. 277

VERMONT

VT H 772
Sponsor: Strong (R)
Title: Right To Work
Summary: Relates to the right to work. Status: 01/31/2014 To House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.

VIRGINIA

VA HJR 490
Sponsor: Bell Ri (R)
Title: Constitutional Amendment
Summary: Proposes a constitutional amendment on the right to work. Provides that any agreement or combination between any employer and any labor union or labor organization whereby people who are not members of such union or organization are 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, is an illegal combination or conspiracy, and is void. Includes an employment monopoly. Status: 07/22/2014 Prefiled.

WASHINGTON

WA H 1461
Sponsor: Manweller (R)
Title: Notice of Employees Rights
Summary: Requires notice of employees' rights related to unions. Status: 01/13/2014 2014 Regular Session Action: By Order of Resolution reintroduced and retained in present status.

WA S 5935 a
Sponsor: Baumgartner (R)
Title: Right to Work
Summary: Protects the right to work. Provides that a person shall not be required by an employer to abstain or refrain from membership in any labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment. Provides that the right to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of an employee's choice to bargain collectively through a labor organization. Provides that a person shall not be required by an employer to become or remain a member of a labor organization as a condition of employment. Status: 01/13/2014 By Order of Resolution reintroduced and retained in present status.

WEST VIRGINIA

WV H 2010
Sponsor: Kump (R)
Title: Employee Labor Membership
Summary: Prohibits employers and labor unions from requiring employees to become or remain members of labor unions as a condition of employment. Status: 01/09/2014 To House Committee on Industry and Labor.

WV H 2596
Sponsor: Overington (R)
Title: Right to Work Law
Summary: Establishes the West Virginia Right to Work Law. Status: 01/09/2014 To House Committee on Industry and Labor.

WV HJR 14
Sponsor: Overington (R)
Title: Right To Work
Summary: Relates to the Right to Work Amendment. Status: 01/09/2014 To House Committee on Judiciary.

Source: StateNet year-end bill tracking search, 11-24-14.