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There is much confusion on what a Right to Work principle is (we’ll callt them R2W states for simplicity’s sake). Most people look at these work rights as a “right to get fired”. This is simply not true. The R2W principle allows for every American to work for a living, without the pressure to belong to a union.

Work Rights: What are These Principles?

Right to Work Law

No person is made to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment. These work rights laws also ensure that employees are not forced or coerced into joining a union. Additionally, it’s important to notice that these states are not “anti-union”. Instead, R2W states focus on the freedoms of the individual employee.

Public Sector vs. Private Sector

In the public sector, every state is a R2W state. In the private sector, work rights are a little different. All states in the Southeast fall into this category, but major states like California and New York have forced unions.

Standard of Living

When states enact work rights, the quality of life is seriously considered. One of the positives of being in these states is the higher quality of life. Compared to those states that force unionization, R2W states have higher after-tax income. In addition to this benefit, families in these states have more buying power. Last but not least, there are lower unemployment rates.

Negatives of R2W Laws

Conversely, not all the work rights are positive. Those who oppose these specific laws point out that sometimes non-union employees benefit from their union counterparts. Additionally, Democrats have a lot of support from Union members. This means that most states that are fall under this category endorse Republican parties.

Both forced unions and the R2W states have their positives and negatives. If you have questions about what your rights are in your states, consult with a lawyer. While you may live in one of these states, you still have rights regarding employment.

Advantages and Drawbacks

At the end of the day, no matter which category your work state falls under— there will be some benefits and some negatives. However, it is important to get familiar with your rights as an employee, an employer, or someone who plans to relocate for an employment opportunity. Do your research, be prepared, and make sure you have protections in place in case of any unexpected work injuries or unforeseen circumstances.