On February 6, 2017, Missouri became the 28th Right-to-Work state. Governor Eric R. Greitens signed S.B. 19, prohibiting employees from being required to support a union as a condition of employment. As stated in the text of the law, no individual should be required to:
- become, remain, or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization,
- pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other similar charges however denominated of any kind or amount to a labor organization, or
- pay to any charity or other third party any amount equivalent to, or on a pro rate basis, any dues, fees, assessments, or other charges required of members of a labor organization.
Furthermore, any agreement between the labor organization and employer that violates the employees’ rights is unlawful, null, and void. An individual that violates any provision of the law will be guilty of a class C misdemeanor. If an individual becomes injured as a result of a violation of the law, he or she may be entitled to injunctive relief against violator. Additionally, injured individuals may recover all damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
The law also clarifies that any agreement between the labor organization and employer before the law’s effective date (August 28, 2017) will not apply. Agreements that are renewed, extended, amended, or modified after the effective date will be subject to the Right-to-Work law.