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Massachusetts Right to Work Laws

"Right to work" laws are statutes that prohibit the use of union membership, or non-membership, as a condition for getting hired for a job. In states without these laws, some positions are not available to non-union workers as a requirement of union contracts with employers. Massachusetts' right to work laws prohibit such arrangements.

Highlights of Massachusetts' right to work laws are listed in the following chart. To learn more, see FAQs About Union Members' Rights and the links following this article.

Code Section

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 149, sections 20 through 20E

What is a Labor Union Generally, a labor union is an organization of individuals engaged in the same industry, trade, craft, or occupation that bargains with employers on behalf of members. Examples of issues addressed by the labor union include the following:
  • Pay rates and wages;
  • Hire or tenure;
  • Hours of employment; and
  • Working conditions.
Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc. No person shall, by intimidation or force, prevent or seek to prevent a person from entering into or continuing in the employment of any person

Prohibited Activity

No person shall, by himself or through an agent, coerce or compel a person into a written or oral agreement not to join or to become a member of a labor organization or employer organization as a condition of securing employment or continuing the employment of such person.

Penalties

A court may enforce a violation of right to work laws and order appropriate legal and equitable relief.

An officer or member of an association or organization, or the association or organization itself, that is participating or interested in a labor dispute shall not be held responsible or liable for the unlawful actions of individual officers, member, or agents unless there is clear proof of participation in, authorization of, or confirmation after the fact of such acts.

Research the Law:

Related Resources for Right to Work Laws:

It’s important for employees, employers, and labor unions alike to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to employment laws and labor disputes in the commonwealth. State laws are constantly changing and if you have questions, you may want to contact an experienced Massachusetts employment law attorney for answers specific to your situation. 

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