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Florida Right to Work Laws

A highly controversial issue across the different states has been how to deal with nonunion members in contracts between unions and employers. While unions would clearly prefer to force employers to hire only union members, employers argue that if a union was allowed to impose such a restriction, an employer’s freedom and ability to run a business would be severely constrained. The unions, on the other hand, argue that if employers could freely hire whomever they wished, they would obviously hire nonunion members -- because they could get around having to follow the wage and hours conditions the unions bargain for in their union contracts with employers.

In response to this controversy, about half of the states within the U.S. have passed legislation commonly referred to as "right to work" laws. Generally speaking, these laws prohibit making it a job requirement that someone be a union member -- i.e. employers can hire nonunion members (as well as union members). Florida has such a law on the books in its Constitution, which states that employees’ right to bargain collectively through a labor union shall not be denied or abridged. It should be noted that Florida's constitution also denies state employees the right to strike.

The table below provides a brief summary of Florida's right to work laws.

Code Section

Fla. Const. Art. I §6

Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.

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

Prohibited Activity

Public employees do not have right to strike; right of employees to bargain collectively through a labor union shall not be denied or abridged.

Penalties

-

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida labor attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more information on Florida's right to work laws, feel free to click on the links provided below. If you'd like to learn more about union membership or unions, in general, you may want to check out FindLaw’s article on Union Member Rights or browse FindLaw’s section on unions. Finally, if you find you need more individualized assistance, you may want to consider consulting with or retaining a labor law attorney.

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