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Questions about Right-to-Work Laws

The “right-to-work” law guarantees that no employee can be compelled on the condition of employment to join the union or pay union fees, and it prohibits agreements between the employer and labor unions from making these conditions of employment before or after hiring. Currently, 23 states have right-to-work laws, as per the 1947 federal Taft–Hartley Act. Right-to-work laws are often confused with “at-will” employment, which gives the employer the right to fire an employee with or without reason.

Below, legal experts clarify doubts on the subject.

I quit my job after a written agreement for a payment of $5500 for 3 months at a dealership company. However, after a month they paid me $4233 and fired me stating that Florida is a right-to-work state.

Yes, Florida is a right-to-work state. However, that only means that you cannot be forced to join a union or pay dues as a condition of employment, unless you work for a railroad, an airline, or a federal agency.

In your case, what may be relevant is that Florida is an employment-at-will state. This means that you can be terminated for any reason except illegal discrimination or existence of an employment contract. If your contract explicitly states an unconditional promise to pay you $5500 for three months, you may sue for breach of contract. However, the courts would consider whether the company had a right to terminate the contract because of some issue, such as your performance. Ultimately, the exact words in the contract would prevail.

Is Nevada is a right-to-work state where you can be terminated for flimsy reason like the employer not liking your hair?

The right-to-work law in Nevada, and elsewhere, applies only to employees choosing whether or not to join or financially support the union. Nevada is also an employment-at-will state, which means that you are employed outside the confines of a contract or a bargaining union agreement. However, firing an employee for not liking his/her hair may amount to discrimination, unless hair is specified in the handbook as part of the uniform. You can read more about Nevada’s at-will employment laws here.

As Kansas is a right-to-work state, can employers place an employee on final written warning without first serving a written warning?

The law that allows an employer to terminate an employee without warning is at-will employment and not right-to-work. Of course, the employer would have to do this within the confines of discrimination laws, unemployment, and workers’ compensation. If the employee handbook defines the different levels of disciplinary action, an attorney may find ways to make these enforceable in the event an employee is terminated.

Can a non-compete clause be enforced in a right-to-work state like Nebraska?

The non-compete agreement is unrelated to Nebraska being a right-to-work state as it is not a union-related issue. Whether or not a clause in the agreement is enforceable would depend on its fairness in defining the length of time, geographic area, or what sort of work it tries to prohibit. Also, whether it is overbroad in those areas depends on the type of business it is, what your position was at the time you were employed with them, and what you do now. Consult with a local attorney experienced in non-competes and have your non-compete agreement reviewed.

Understanding your rights under the right-to-work law allows you to make an informed decision on whether or not to join the union or pay union dues. While it may be confusing, the ability to distinguish between the “right-to-work” and the “employment-at-will” laws will help you in evaluating specific situations related to work or your employment. For this, it is best to consult a legal expert.

Ask an Employment Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 8125
Experience:  JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
4460311
Type Your Employment Law Question Here...
characters left:
10 Employment Lawyers are Online Now

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  • Get a Professional Answer
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    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
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Employment Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 8118
JD, BBA, recognized by ABA for excellence.
Marsha411JD
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 11097
Licensed Attorney with 28 yrs. exp in Employment Law
Infolawyer
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 10590
Licensed attorney helping employers and employees.

Recent Right to Work Questions

  • My boss was turned into HR some time ago and I think was lead

    My boss was turned into HR some time ago and I think was lead to believe it was me but we were instructed not to discuss it so I wasn't sure how to let her know it wasn't me you know? So her and a couple others started treating me little different.
    >
    > So like last month or November I can't recall I came to work on the morning to find that a coworker with no work ethic had AGAIN done nothing so I talked to him and he went to my boss and had to write a personal statement. I only know this because he told me. I never saw it. I never got written up or anything only what this coworker himself told me.
    >
    > I think he later felt bad about what he wrote and went into my file and took it out and shredded it. I knew nothing about this move, he didn't ask, he didn't inform me... Nothing. But I know this is something he would do because he's told me in the past he takes things from his own file and shreds them.
    >
    > No I never turned him in for telling me this because 1 I had no proof, I never saw him do it and 2 I had previously gone to my boss and told her things like I am uncomfortable working with him alone at night because he harasses me, I've told her that he lies to her and she looks the other way.
    >
    > Now I don't know how or why this coworker was asked about what happened to the papers especially before me. But he told them " one night I caught her going through the files and I told her she shouldn't be doing that. She said it's none of your business and if you tell anyone I'll tell them it was you."
    >
    > So when they asked right away I thought it was him and said that because of what I told you previously but he knew I would say that so he told them that and I walked right into his sick little trap.
    >
    > The HR guy said I'm going to take fingerprints and I said ok because I know I've never touched the files. Then asked if I would do a lie detector test and I said yes but they were both just a bluff. They forced me to resign basically or get fired on this coworkers word for actions he took.
    Do I have any legal recourse against this coworker for causing me to lose my job over actions he took and lies he later told to cover his own actions?
    Also my former employer states that they have to inform any future employee that I've been blackballed should they call. I know I resigned but not willingly, is there any actions to prevent them from informing other employment opportunities that I've been blackballed?
  • Hi, I recently came across your response to a customer

    Hi,
    I recently came across your response to a customer regarding creating an entity for the purposes of employing household employees. Are there any vehicles worth considering in order to provide some sort of liability protection, perhaps a trust of some sort? I know there is no way to shield myself from premises liability when I own the house, but what about wrongful termination, etc.?
  • I WAS JUST DEMOTED. NO DEFINITIVE EXPLANATION, I SUSPECT PERSONALITIES

    I WAS JUST DEMOTED. NO DEFINITIVE EXPLANATION, I SUSPECT PERSONALITIES WERE INVOLVED. MY REVIEW WAS FINE.. NEW POSITION IS SAME RESPONSIBILITIES, BUT $30,000 PAY DECREASE. I LIVE IN FL, RIGHT TO WORK STATE. DO I HAVE ANY OPTIONS?
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