In March 2023, Michigan made history as the first state to repeal “right-to-work” legislature in over 60 years. CredentialCheck, an integrated background check company based in Michigan, explains this historic event and what it means for employers and workers.
Michigan first adopted a right-to-work law in 2012 amid political contention. After state Democrats gained control of the government in 2023, they passed a bill repealing the controversial legislation, which was then signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and will take effect in 2024.
Right-to-work laws in the United States guarantee an employee’s right to refrain from joining a union or paying its fees while working a job with union benefits. Proponents say this type of legislature protects workers’ rights and makes unions more responsive to the employees’ needs. Critics argue these laws maintain wealth inequality between the rich and working class and weaken unions by diminishing their finances. A little over half of U.S. states currently have these laws in place.
For employers with unionized roles, the impending change could mean reckoning with a union with stronger negotiating power than in prior years. Likewise, they may lose employees and job candidates who do not wish to pay union fees. However, the majority of jobs in Michigan are not unionized, so most employers will be unaffected.
For workers in unionized roles, they will no longer be able to “freeload” and enjoy union benefits without paying dues. However, their financial contributions will give their union more leverage during negotiations for job improvements. Again, most jobs in Michigan are not unionized, so the majority of workers will not experience any change.
Call CredentialCheck at (888) 689-2000 to learn more about their pre-employment screening services. Information about their various types of employee background checks can also be found on their website. They are based in Troy, Michigan, and serve clients across the United States.