Right To Work States 2019

Some states in the United States are classified as “right to work” states. Even if you’ve heard the term, you may not know what it means. In its simplest terms, what does it mean when a state is a right to work state?

If a state is a right to work state, this means that there are laws that allow residents to work without being forced to join a union or pay union fees. Many times, unions try to convince employers to sign contracts which would require all employees to pay union fees to be employed. In states where there are right-to-work laws, employers and labor unions are prohibited from forcing any employee that is not part of the union to pay fees. Some states also include language that prohibits employers and unions from requiring union membership as a condition for employment.

In the following states, right-to-work laws designate that payment of union dues or fees can’t be a requirement for employment:

In some states, it is outright prohibited to use the payment of union fees as a condition of employment. In others, it is not allowed unless it is in writing.

The states that have laws against union membership as a condition of employment are:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The penalties for employers or unions that violate these laws vary by state. In some states, victims can sue for damages. Other states will punish offenders with fines, imprisonment, or a combination of both.

Rank State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth 2018 Pop. 2010 Census Growth Since 2010 % of US
2Texas29,087,0701.34%28,701,84525,242,67915.23%8.75%
8Georgia10,627,7671.03%10,519,4759,711,8109.43%3.20%
9North Carolina10,497,7411.10%10,383,6209,574,2939.65%3.16%
10Michigan10,020,4720.25%9,995,9159,877,5351.45%3.01%
12Virginia8,571,9460.64%8,517,6858,023,6806.83%2.58%
13Washington7,666,3431.74%7,535,5916,742,90213.70%2.31%
16Tennessee6,833,7930.94%6,770,0106,355,3017.53%2.06%
17Indiana6,718,6160.40%6,691,8786,490,4363.52%2.02%
18Missouri6,147,8610.35%6,126,4525,995,9762.53%1.85%
20Wisconsin5,832,6610.33%5,813,5685,690,4792.50%1.75%
23South Carolina5,147,1111.24%5,084,1274,635,65611.03%1.55%
24Alabama4,898,2460.21%4,887,8714,785,4482.36%1.47%
25Louisiana4,652,581-0.16%4,659,9784,544,5322.38%1.40%
26Kentucky4,484,0470.35%4,468,4024,348,2003.12%1.35%
28Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%3,943,0793,759,6325.04%1.19%
30Utah3,221,6101.91%3,161,1052,775,33416.08%0.97%
31Iowa3,167,9970.38%3,156,1453,050,7673.84%0.95%
34Arkansas3,026,4120.42%3,013,8252,921,9783.57%0.91%
35Mississippi2,987,8950.05%2,986,5302,970,5360.58%0.90%
36Kansas2,910,931-0.02%2,911,5052,858,2131.84%0.88%
38Nebraska1,940,9190.60%1,929,2681,829,5366.09%0.58%
39West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%1,805,8321,854,214-3.36%0.54%
40Idaho1,790,1822.05%1,754,2081,570,77313.97%0.54%
47South Dakota892,6311.18%882,235816,1659.37%0.27%
48North Dakota760,9000.11%760,077674,71012.77%0.23%
52Wyoming572,381-0.93%577,737564,4831.40%0.17%