The phrases “at-will” and “right-to-work” regarding employment in North Carolina are relatively well-known. However, while the terms may be familiar to people, the exact meanings of these phrases seems to remain a mystery. We discussed the concept of employment “at-will” in an earlier article.
The term “right-to-work” means that an employer cannot demand that an employee become a member of a union as a condition of their employment. In addition, an employer cannot require that the employee pay dues to any union, even if they are not a member. A person simply has the “right-to-work” in North Carolina without union membership being demanded of them.
North Carolina General Statute § 95-80 states: “No person shall be required by an employer to become or remain a member of any labor union or labor organization as a condition of employment or continuation of employment.”
North Carolina General Statute § 95-82 further states: “No employer shall require any person, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment, to pay any dues, fees, or other charges of any kind to any labor union or labor organization.”
It is important to note that the “right-to-work” statute is not meant as a guarantee of employment. Its purpose is to prohibit employers from excluding non-union members and from requiring non-union members to pay fees to unions that have negotiated contracts on behalf of the employees.
If you believe that your “right-to-work” is being violated by your employer, you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with this law as soon as possible to discuss the options and remedies that may be available to you.