On March 9, 2015, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed Act 44, commonly referred to as Wisconsin’s right-to-work law. Wisconsin’s new right-to-work law, like other recently passed laws in other states, will not apply to collective bargaining agreements currently in place until the parties to those agreements renew, modify or extend them.
What the Right-to-Work Law Does and Doesn’t Do
Wisconsin’s new right-to-work law provides several protections to employees relating to union membership and payment of union dues. Specifically, Act 44 prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, that an individual: (1) refrain from joining a union or resign from a union; (2) become or remain a union member; (3) pay union dues; or (4) pay any third party an amount that substitutes for union dues. Additionally, Act 44 prohibits employers from deducting union dues from employees’ paychecks, unless the employer receives a signed authorization that allows the employee to terminate the authorization with at least 30 days’ written notice.
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