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Mississippi Right to Work Laws

Whether at a family farm operation or in the meatpacking or furniture making industry, the Magnolia State is known for hard work. And with big industries and large employers, the interaction between management and labor can get contentious. In many lines of work, employees will rely on unions to act on their behalf when negotiating contract terms with management. This back-and-forth is governed by a strict set of labor regulations. Here is a brief overview of “right-to-work” laws in Mississippi.

Right to Work Laws

State "right-to-work" statutes generally prohibit employers and unions from requiring employees to be union members or pay membership dues membership in order for to get and keep a job. In addition to statutory provisions dating back to 1954, Mississippi had right-to-work guarantees added to the state constitution in 1960.

Right to Work Statutes in Mississippi

Mississippi’s right to work statutes are listed in the table below.

Code Section

Mississippi Code 71-1-47;

Mississippi Code 71-1-53;

Mississippi Constitution Article VII §198A

Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.

The right to work shall not be denied or abridged because of membership or nonmembership in a labor union or organization.

Prohibited Activity

Agreement or combination between employer and labor organization to make membership condition of employment or where union or organization acquires an employment monopoly; requirement to become or remain member; requirement to abstain or refrain from membership; requirement to pay dues.

Penalties

Misdemeanor; fined not less than $25.00 nor more than $250.

About half of all states have right-to-work laws in place to manage the relationship between unions, employee, and employers, by preventing both employers and unions from excluding non-union workers or requiring existing employees to join a union or pay union dues. On the one side, unions have almost universally opposed right-to-work laws, while on the other most business interests and Chambers of Commerce have lobbied heavily in favor of these measures.

Right-to-work laws have been more prevalent in the news lately due to a few northern states passing new statutes. And with the somewhat recent trend of right-to-work laws and the legal challenges some of them are facing, their overall impact on union membership, wages, and collective bargaining agreements has yet to be fully determined.

Mississippi Right to Work Laws: Related Resources

State employment laws and their relationship to unions and employers can be complicated. You can consult with a Mississippi labor attorney if you would like legal assistance regarding an employment or union matter. You can also find more resources and information on this topic by visiting FindLaw’s Employee Rights Center.

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