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North Dakota Right to Work Laws

A growing number of states has passed laws prohibiting the collection of monthly dues from non-union workers who nevertheless enjoy the benefits of an organized workplace, called "right to work" laws. These laws also typically state that a person's right to work may not be conditional on their union membership, which already is enforced at the federal level. Supporters claim that these laws are meant to prevent "forced" unionism, while opponents insist that they are only intended to reduce union membership. The agreements these laws prohibit are meant to ensure that unions are able to collect enough money to operate, since they also work on behalf of those who decline to join the union.

Right to Work Law in North Dakota: The Basics

Similar to other states with such laws, North Dakota's right to work statute states that a person's right to secure employment should not be conditional on union membership (which already is enforced through federal labor law). But the statute also explicitly prohibits the collection of monthly expenses from non-union employees in organized workplaces for the payment of regular operations, which is the actionable portion of the law.

Additional details about North Dakota's right to work law are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Unions section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section 34-01-14
Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc. The right of a person to work shall not be abridged or denied on account of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or organization.
Collection of Monthly Fees from Non-Union Employees Actual representation expenses may be assessed only in instances in which a nonunion employee has specifically requested in writing to use representation by the labor union or labor organization. A nonunion employee may not be compelled to pay any expenses incurred by a labor union or labor organization in the course of general contract negotiations or collective bargaining.  
Prohibited Activity All contracts in negation or abrogation of right to work are invalid; "agency shop" dues "check off" of nonmember of union as condition of employment or continuance.
Penalties None.

Note: State laws are subject to change through the enactment of newly signed legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives, decisions from higher courts, and other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota labor law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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