Right-to-Work Laws

Right-to-work laws prohibit making union membership a condition of employment. Although federal law allows states to pass such laws, fewer than half have done so, and a national law is being considered. This entry describes these laws, relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and arguments offered by supporters and opponents of such legislation.


The National Labor Relations Act as amended in 1947 allows states to enact right-to-work laws. The U.S. Department of Labor records show that at least 23 states have enacted right-to-work laws and state constitutional amendments: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. The federal government is currently working on the National Right to ...

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