Seventh Circuit Federal Court of Appeals Upholds Wisconsin Right to Work

Date: July 13, 2017

As we’ve reported in the past, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center is currently fighting to defend right to work initiatives several states—including in Wisconsin. And the good news is that just this week a Federal Court of Appeals sided with us in flatly rejecting union claims that right to work legislation should be struck down under the National Labor Relations Act and under the federal constitution. This bodes well for our national efforts on this issue.

Only two years ago, the Seventh Circuit upheld Indiana’s right to work law against a similar challenge. Since then the unions have only amped up their efforts to invalidate right to work statutes in other jurisdictions, which has causes some anxiety in the small business community. But with this decision reaffirming the legality of right to work laws, we can hope that we’re nearing the end of these protracted legal battles.

Still we will have to continue the fight so long as the unions persist in their efforts to compel workers to lend their financial support. For that matter, even Wisconsin’s Right to Work statute remains under assault. Indeed, while it seems we’ve won the day in federal court, the unions are pressing a separate lawsuit in state court—which will likely be decided by the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the end. But as set forth in our past comments, these cases should be dismissed under well settled Supreme Court precedent. Simply put, there is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about protecting the right of an individual to decide whether to associate with a union.

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