Vermont Right to Work Laws

In the 1940s, many states enacted right-to-work laws prohibiting forced union membership and payment of forced union dues as a condition of employment. Specifically, these laws state that employment may not be denied on the basis of one's union membership. Several prominent figures throughout history have spoken out against right-to-work laws including the famed Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

National Labor Relations Board

The National Labor Relation Board's website offers detailed information about federal union laws and procedures. Regardless of whether a state has passed a right-to-work law, it is illegal for employers to threaten employees who express an interest in joining or forming a union or to promise certain benefits to those who refuse to join a union.

Is Vermont A Right-To-Work State?

No, Vermont is not a right-to-work state. Unlike the implications of the name, right-to-work laws give no right to employment. However, they do prohibit employers and unions from negotiating a contract that requires all employees to join a union after hiring or pay all or some portion of union dues that is used for bargaining and representation .

Don't I Have a Right-to-Work?

Yes, but "Right-to-Work," can be a bit of a misnomer. "Right-to-Work" means that you cannot be forced to join a union or pay dues. It does not mean that workers cannot build a union. It definitely doesn't mean that anyone has a right to work.

Right To Work Movement Across the United States

Some states passed Right-to-Work law to make unions weaker. Critics of these laws argue that bosses use it to divide workers and encourage workers not to belong to the union. In states that have it, there are fewer unions and workers have many fewer laws protecting them.

In these states, employees and prospective employees are not required to join a union or pay union dues in order to work at a company that has a collective bargaining agreement in place.

Proponents of these laws argue that it's unfair to require union membership, that it should be voluntary, while opponents charge that right-to-work laws are intended to decrease union membership.

Although Vermont has no statutory provisions related to right-to-work laws, the following links and resources should help you get acquainted with labor and employment laws in Vermont and in general.

Code Section No statutory provision
Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc.

N/A

Prohibited Activity N/A
Penalties N/A

Note: State employment laws are always subject to change, usually through legislation, ballot initiative, or court ruling -- contact a Vermont labor law attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Vermont Right to Work Laws : Related Resources

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