Alabama Right to Work Laws

Those of us from the Yellowhammer State have always been known to work hard. From aerospace in Huntsville to new auto plants all over, hard working Alabamans make the country move. And in big industries, the interaction between employers and employees can get contentious. In many cases, employees rely on unions to act on their behalf when negotiating with management, a relationship that's governed by a strict set of rules. This is an introduction “right-to-work” laws in Alabama.

Right to Work Laws

Essentially, "right-to-work" statutes prohibit employers and unions from requiring union membership in order for employees to get and keep a job. Alabama has long had this type of statute in its state code, declaring that it is “the public policy of Alabama that the right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization.”

Right to Work Statutes in Alabama

Right to work statutes in Alabama are highlighted in the table below.

Code Section

Code of Alabama 25-7-30, et seq.: Right to Work

Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.

The right of persons to work shall not be denied or abridged on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization.

Prohibited Activity

Any agreement/combination between employer and labor union or organization denying nonmembers right to work is prohibited; labor organizations cannot require membership, abstention, or payment of union dues.

Penalties

Harmed person may recover such damages sustained by reason of denial or deprivation of employment.

While right to work laws have been in the news lately do to some northern states passing new statutes, Alabama’s right to work law has been on the books since 1953. About half the states have these laws that control the relationship between employers, employees, and unions by preventing both employers and unions from excluding non-union workers or requiring existing employees to join a union or pay union dues.

While unions have almost universally opposed these measures, most business interests have lobbied heavily in favor of right-to-work laws. Due to the somewhat recent trend of new right to work laws (and the legal entanglements they are facing), economic studies have yet to determine the overall impact the laws are having on union membership, wages, and collective bargaining agreements.

Alabama Right to Work Laws: Related Resources

The laws that define our employment can be complicated. You can contact a Alabama labor attorney if you would like legal assistance with an employment or union matter. You can also visit FindLaw’s Employee Rights Center for additional articles and information on this topic.

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