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20 Nov 2018 Right-to-Work Law Gets Stamp of Approval From Kentucky Supreme Court

With a tight 4-3 split last week, the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the state’s right-to-work law in a lawsuit that called into question the legislation’s constitutionality.   Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state in early 2017 when it passed the aptly named “2017 Right to Work Act.” The legislation outlaws “union security” provisions in collective bargaining agreements. These provisions mandate that workers’ pay union dues as a condition of employment. The lawsuit, Zuckerman v. Bevin, was…

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02 Oct 2018 Federal Court Shoots Down Illinois Town’s Right-To-Work Law

Illinois is completely surrounded by right-to-work states that have laws making it unlawful for companies to require union dues as a condition of employment. While the state of Illinois is unlikely to pass such legislation of its own, the Illinois village of Lincolnshire attempted to enact a right-to-work ordinance in 2015 that would have been applicable to companies and unions within its borders. Unions filed a lawsuit to have the village’s ordinance voided, and a…

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10 Aug 2018 Missouri Voters Deliver Blow to Right-to-Work Movement

On August 7, the voters of Missouri rejected Proposition A, a ballot measure that would have implemented right-to-work legislation signed by Governor Eric Greitens last year.   Over the past handful of years, the right-to-work movement has scored a number of victories, particularly in the Midwest. Indiana (2012), Michigan (2012), Wisconsin (2015), West Virginia (2016), and Kentucky (2017) all passed legislation making it unlawful for employees to be forced to become a union member or…

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28 Mar 2018 Right-to-Work in Illinois? One Village is Trying.

  Illinois is completely surrounded by right-to-work states that have laws making it unlawful for companies to require union dues as a condition of employment. While the state of Illinois is unlikely to pass such legislation of its own, the Illinois village of Lincolnshire attempted to enact a right-to-work ordinance in 2015 that would have been applicable to companies and unions within its borders. Unions filed a lawsuit to have the village’s ordinance voided, and…

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26 Jan 2018 Kentucky’s Right-to-Work Law Upheld by Court

  A Kentucky state court judge has granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Teamsters’ Local 89 from Louisville, which claimed that Kentucky’s new Right-to-Work Act constituted a “taking” by the state in violation of the Kentucky Constitution.   The state’s constitution prohibits the state from “taking … private property for public use without compensation.” The Teamsters argued that the new law constituted a “taking” because it allowed “freeloaders” to have the benefit…

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14 Mar 2017 The Legality of Local Municipal Right-to-Work Laws; Will A Circuit Split Lead To Supreme Court Review

  On November 21, 2016, we reported that in Autoworkers Local 3047 v. Hardin County, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that local units of government could pass right-to-work ordinances under the National Labor Relations Act. Subsequently, on January 9, 2017 we reported that the state of Kentucky became a right-to-work state, a decision that seemingly ended any controversy concerning the Hardin County ordinance and litigation. However, a group of local unions have continued…

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09 Feb 2017 Missouri Adopts Right-to-Work, Are the Feds Next?

  This week, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law Missouri’s new Right-to-Work Act. At roughly the same time, Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the national Right-to-Work Act that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to remove language allowing unions to require membership as a condition of employment.   Republicans, including King and Wilson in 2015, have tried to push a…

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16 May 2016 U.S. Chamber of Commerce Publishes State Labor Law Reform Report

On May 12, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a detailed 48-page report analyzing various state laws that have been (or could be) enacted that impact labor relations at the state level. For example, the report discusses at length Right-to-Work laws, laws prohibiting the use of “project labor agreements” and “mass picketing” statutes. It is an interesting read, and a copy can be found here. David PryzbylskiRecently recognized as one of the top under-40 labor lawyers…

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05 Feb 2016 County Right-to-Work Laws in Kentucky Struck Down By Federal District Court

  As previously reported on the blog, last year several counties in Kentucky passed Right-to-Work ordinances that prohibited companies and unions within their borders from requiring union dues as a condition of employment. We also noted that the laws were being challenged in Kentucky federal court by the UAW and several other unions. The unions, who were supported by the NLRB, argued that the Section 14(b) NLRA preempts “counties” from enacting Right-to-Work laws, as Section…

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02 Dec 2015 UAW Accused of Failing to Honor Michigan Right to Work Law

An autoworker in Michigan has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB accusing the United Auto Workers (UAW) of refusing his repeated requests to withdraw his membership and stop paying dues. According to a story in the Detroit News, the employee twice sent withdrawal notices to the UAW via certified mail, but the union declined his request to withdraw his membership. He alleges the union’s actions are in violation of Michigan’s right to work law…

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