Indiana – The Newest Right-to-Work State

Kegler Brown E-mployment Alert

The governor of Indiana signed right to work legislation earlier this month, making it the first “rust belt” state to pass such legislation. There is some confusion about right to work laws, in that some people think that the law outlaws unions. Not so. Right to work laws prohibit forcing an employee to join or support a union in order to keep their job. What that means is that a union can organize a company, but they can’t require the employees to join the union or pay union dues.

What does this mean for Ohio? At first blush, maybe not much, given the resounding defeat of Senate Bill 5 and the resulting hesitancy to challenge organized labor for Ohio legislators. On the other hand, many believe that being a right to work state is a major attraction for businesses to start, expand, or relocate to that state. If Indiana’s neighboring states, which are themselves competing with Indiana to attract businesses, see that the right to work law is having a positive effect on Indiana’s ability to expand its business base, we may see more right to work legislation introduced.