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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Barring Local Governments from Establishing “Right to Work” Zones

Last Friday, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (P.A. 101-003) barring local governments from establishing “right-to-work zones.” The new law takes effect immediately (April 12, 2019). 

The Act provides that the state has exclusive authority to enact laws governing agreements between employers and unions that (i) spell out the extent to which workers can be compelled to belong to a union or and (ii) whether the employer will collect dues and fees on behalf of the union. The Act expressly prohibits any local government from enacting or enforcing any local law, ordinance, rule, or regulation that "prohibits, restricts, tends to restrict, or regulates the use of union security agreements between an employer and labor union. The Act declares any ordinance inconsistent with the Act to be void. Finally, the Act preempts home rule authority.

A prior version of the Act was introduced in 2015 after an Illinois municipality passed an ordinance allowing employees to work for a company in union-protected positions without having to join the union or pay the full share of union dues. That ordinance was struck down by a federal court of appeals court last year, and the previous bill was vetoed by former Governor Bruce Rauner in 2017. The legislation was reintroduced during the current session and passed in the House with a vote of 101-8 and the Senate 51-0 before being signed by the Governor.

Post Authored by David Warner, Ancel Glink


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