By Eric B. Meyer
Before I get into the this new bill, let’s clear up a popular misconception: free right-to-work means that an employee can be fired at any time for any non-discriminatory reason.
No, dudes. That’s called at-will employment.
Right-to-work laws give individual employees in a unionized workplace the right not to join or financially support the union. Nearly half the states — 24, plus Guam — have passed right-to-work laws. Absent a right-to-work law, all employees in a collective bargaining unit must join the union and pay union dues.
And Pennsylvania could be next.
What the bill would do
Here is a link to Pennsylvania Senate Bill 1073, the Freedom of Employment Act. This bill, if passed, would prohibit the following conditions of employment:
- Membership — No person shall be required to become or remain a member of a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
- Abstention from membership — No person shall be required to abstain or refrain from membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
- Dues, fees and charges — No person shall be required to pay or refrain from paying any dues, fees or charges of any kind to a labor organization or to a charity or other third-party in lieu of the payments to a labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.
Governor says he would sigh the bill
Any violation of the law would be considered a misdemeanor of the third degree, punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or up to six months in the hoosegow, or both. Each day of a continued violation is a separate offense.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has said that he would sign right-to-work legislation if it crossed his desk.
Earlier this year, six Republican state representatives each introduced right-to-work variants, none of which gained any traction.
This was originally published on Eric B. Meyer’s blog, The Employer Handbook.