Right to Work and Employment at Will Laws by Kentucky Employment Attorney
In comparing the Right to Work and Employment at Will laws it is important to understand what the Right to Work law is and how it affects the Employment at Will status in Kentucky?
“Right to Work” is simply a law that prohibits an employer from refusing to hire you because you are not a member of a union. It also prohibits forced union membership. There have been a number of attempts to get the Kentucky legislature to pass a Right to Work law that have been unsuccessful. As of the writing of this post, Kentucky still does not have a Right to Work Law.
Employment at Will (or At Will Employment) is a rule of law that allows an employer to end someone’s employment for any reason or no reason at all. An employee can also quit their job for any reason or no reason at all. This rule has been modified by a number of laws. An employer cannot fire an at will employee for certain reasons that have become prohibited. A few examples of these exceptions include filing a complaint of discrimination, taking family medical leave act time, filing a workers compensation claim. An At Will Employment can be changed by an employment contract including a union contract. If you have an Employment Contract your employer usually has to follow the contract terms (jump through hoops) before it can end your employment.
So, the Right to Work Law deals with Union issues, it does not directly affect Employment at Will status. However, it does allow a person who is not a union member to become an employee at will, performing the same duties as a union member without the at will employee being forced to join a union or pay union dues. So while, the Right to Work law has not been passed in Kentucky, a state can be both a Right to Work State and an Employment at Will State.