Right-to-work: What employers need to know
On Feb. 6, 2017, Gov. Eric Greitens signed Senate Bill 19 into law, making Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the nation. The law will become effective on Aug. 28, 2017.
Below are a few things employers should know about the new law.
Things employers with unions should know
- Senate Bill 19 was passed with a “grandfather clause,” meaning existing union contracts remain in effect until they expire. Until the contract expires, an employee is required to pay union dues.
- New union contracts entered into after Aug. 28, 2017, or contracts made prior to Aug. 28 but renewed, extended or modified after the effective date, must not require employees to join a union or pay union dues.
- The enforcement of a union security agreement after the effective date of this law is a misdemeanor. The prosecuting attorney in the county where the alleged violation took place or the Missouri Attorney General has the authority to investigate and prosecute violations.
Things employers without unions should know
- Union-free employers should not assume the right-to-work law will make it easier to stay union free. Employees still have the right to join a union. It is important to note that some of the largest union organizing drives in recent years have occurred in right-to-work states.