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Right To Work Unions

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What Are Right to Work Laws?

Right to Work laws grant employees the choice to decide for themselves whether to join or support a union in their profession.  However, railroad and airline employees as well as some federal employees are not protected by these laws.  Check with your union representative or a labor attorney to see what employee's rights and obligations are in your state. 

How Many Right to Work States are There?

There are 22 Right to Work states. They are:

  Alabama   Arizona
  Arkansas   Florida
  Georgia   Idaho
  Iowa   Kansas
  Louisiana   Mississippi
  Nebraska   Nevada
  North Carolina   North Dakota
  Oklahoma   South Carolina
  South Dakota   Tennessee
  Texas   Utah
  Virginia   Wyoming


Do I Have to Join a Union?

The answer to this question depends on where you work.  If you are a government employee, public school teacher or college professor, you do not have to join a union.  If you are a private sector employee, you may have to pay union fees if you live in a Right to Work state.  If you work for a railroad or airline, you do not have to join a union but you may have to pay union fees.  

If I Live in a Right to Work State, Can I Be Fired without Cause?

You cannot be fired without cause in any state.  Right to Work laws do not allow employers to hire or fire without justification.  Instead, the laws are intended to give employees the choice of whether to join or support a union, and in such states employees are guaranteed the right to not be fired if they decide not to join the union.  

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you live in a Right to Work state and have been fired for refusing to join a union, your rights have been violated and you may be able to seek reinstatement or damages.  You should speak with an employment attorney in your state to see what your options are and to guarantee that the necessary actions are taken to secure your rights.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-12-2018 01:25 AM PDT

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