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Georgia Right to Work Laws

In general, employers want the freedom to choose who they are able to hire. Unions, on the other hand, would prefer if employers were restricted to hiring only union members -- otherwise, employers could easily get around any contract terms negotiated by the union simply by hiring non-union members. This is where the so-called "right to work" laws come in.

About half of the states within the U.S. have passed right to work laws in order to allow non-union workers to access jobs otherwise negotiated by unions. In other words, employers are not restricted to hiring only union members. Though these laws are controversial as they are seen to be detrimental to the bargaining power of unions, Georgia is one of the states that has passed a right to work law.

Under Georgia’s law, no individual is required to become or remain a union member as a condition of employment. This is true even though a non-union member may benefit from the collective bargaining of unions (i.e. the “freerider problem” -- where a non-union member can benefit from conditions negotiated by a union, without actually having to pay for union membership).

Learn more about Georgia's laws with respect to union membership in the table below.

Code Section

34-6-21, et seq.

Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.

No person shall be required as a condition of employment to be or remain a member of a labor organization or to resign or to refrain from membership with a labor organization.

Prohibited Activity

Membership in or payment to labor organization as condition of employment; contracts requiring membership in or payment to labor organization as contrary to public policy; deduction from wages of fees for labor organization without individual's order or request.

Penalties

Injunctive relief; costs and reasonable attorney's fees; actual damages; misdemeanor punished as provided in §17-10-3

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

More Information

For more general information on this topic, you can browse FindLaw’s section on unions or click on the links to additional resources listed below. If you find you have more specific questions or need individualized assistance, you may want to consult with a labor law attorney.

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