You’ve probably heard the term “Right to Work” recently. The ideas behind right to work laws have been in the news, on political ads, and seem to be gaining support. But do you know what right to work means? It might feel like you have to be a labor lawyer to understand what these employment laws are about.


On this page, you’ll receive a breakdown of what the right to work law means, and what it does. Even if you’re in California with strong employment laws, federal right to work laws could affect you.


What is a Right to Work Law?

Right to work laws are employment laws regarding unionization. If you’re in a state like California, a company’s union might require you to join as a condition of employment. This means you’ll have to pay dues, and your union will bargain for you. In states with right to work laws you cannot be required to join your union, or pay dues to your union. However, those unions will still have to bargain for you.

Organized labor argues that because you’re receiving the benefits of union membership, you should be expected to help pay for the costs of bargaining. Proponents of Right to work laws say these laws just ensure that you have the freedom to make your own choices.

How Can Right to Work Laws Affect Me

There are many instances where you may be affected by right to work laws. When you’re being hired, if you have right to work laws in your state, you don’t have to join a union. However, if your new employer has a union contract, you can still enjoy the benefits of that contract without paying any fees to your union. Opponents of right to work laws say that this will harm the overall power of unions.

If your coworkers are trying to organize a union, or negotiate a new union contract, right to work laws matter. Because the negotiation must cover all the workers, even if you’re not a member or paying fees, you’ll probably find fewer members and even less funds for the unions.

So, are Right to Work Laws Anti-Union?

This depends on who you talk to. Most employment rights and labor groups oppose right to work laws, arguing that these employment laws result in weaker unions and fewer workplace protections. What do you think about right to work laws? Tell the Law Offices of Cathe L. Caraway-Howard on their Facebook page. If you have any question about California employment laws, or you have a dispute with your employer, Contact Cathe L. Caraway-Howard at (310) 488-9020. You can count on decades of experience to fight for your employee rights.

Share This