Affiliate News
February 10, 2017

Lawsuit Strikes Down Local “Right To Work” Law

Lawsuit Strikes Down Local “Right To Work” Law

In a decision issued on January 7, 2017, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly found that the local “right to work” law passed in 2015 by the Village of Lincolnshire, located in southeast Lake County, Ill., is pre-empted by federal law and that only states and territories have the authority to pass such laws. The plaintiffs in the case, the International Union of Operating Engineers Locals 150 and 399, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, and the Laborers District Council of Chicago and Vicinity, were granted summary judgment, with the court ruling on the merits without need for a full trial.

The National Labor Relations Act permits states and territories the authority to regulate union security agreements via “right to work” laws. Arguing that local units of government have no authority to pass such laws, the four unions listed as plaintiffs filed a federal lawsuit against Lincolnshire in early 2016.

Judge Kennelly concluded that the NLRA “does not permit local subdivisions to regulate union security agreements.” Additionally, Kennelly found that Lincolnshire has no authority under federal law to regulate union hiring halls or “dues checkoff” agreements between unions and workers they represent.