Several states have laws making it illegal to require non-union workers in unionized workforces to pay a monthly fee, even when they enjoy the benefits that organized labor provides. These so-called "right to work" laws often are framed as a protection for worker's rights, since they allow workers to opt out of paying dues. But while the stated intention of these laws is to make it illegal to require union membership, it's important to understand that federal law already prohibits this. States with a strong organized labor presence typically have a difficult time passing these laws.
Right to Work Laws in Washington, D.C.: The Basics
There are no so-called "right to work" laws in the District of Columbia, which means employees in unionized workforces who don't join the union may be required to pay a monthly fee to cover the expenses of representation. Legislation similar to other states' right to work laws was introduced in 2013 but failed to pass.
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||No statutory provisions|
|Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.||-|
Note: State laws may change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you also may want to contact a District of Columbia employment law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Right to Work Laws: A Divisive Issue
Efforts to pass these types of state laws have inspired impassioned support and opposition from business and labor groups. The name "right to work" is itself divisive, since it suggests that security agreements take away a person's right to have a job, critics say, arguing that these laws are only intended to defund and thus disempower labor unions. But supporters argue that these laws are necessary to prevent "bullying" by unions, who also use these monthly payments for political contributions.
Research the Law
District of Columbia Right to Work Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.