What Are Some of the Right to Work States?


Quick Answer

States with Right to Work laws include Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Twenty-five states and Guam have passed Right to Work laws as of June 2015.

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Full Answer

Employees can choose whether or not to join unions and pay dues in states with Right to Work laws. Employers cannot compel employees to join unions as conditions of employment, and union members may resign their membership. Federal, railroad and airline employees are not covered under these laws.

Right to Work laws vary in each state. Arkansas and Florida passed the first Right to Work laws on November 7, 1944 as provisions in the states' constitutions. Other states have Right to Work laws as statutes. Mississippi's Right to Work law began as a statute and then became a constitutional provision.

The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, also called the Labor Management Relations Act, gives states the right to enact Right to Work laws. This act restricts unions by prohibiting unfair labor practices, listing the rights of employers and employees who are union members, and gives the president of the United States the power to suspend labor strikes that may cause a national emergency. The act made closed shops and featherbedding illegal and requires unions to bargain in good faith.

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