Since my last blog on this subject, dated November 28, 2016, two more states have enacted Right to Work laws. This brings to twenty-eight the total number of states having such laws, which prohibit requirements that workers pay union dues as a condition of employment. Kentucky's Right to Work law was signed by Governor Matt Bevin on January 7, 2017; it took effect immediately. Missouri's was signed by Governor Eric Greitens on February 6, 2017. It will not go into effect until August 28, 2017. Moreover, if unions obtain a sufficient number of signatures on a petition for a referendum, it will not go into effect unless Missouri voters approve the new law in the 2018 general election.
In the meantime, the union lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Idaho Right to Work laws continue, with all three of those laws still enforceable. Oral argument in the state court case against the Wisconsin private-sector law has been scheduled by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals for May 2, 2017. Updated brief summaries of all of these cases are available from NRTW.
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Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Jr. is Vice President & Legal Director at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc.