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Michigan Repeals Right-to-Work Law (2/13/24)

Employees may be required to financially support unions in Michigan a bit sooner than originally anticipated. 

For the past decade, employees in Michigan could not be forced by union contracts to join or financially support any labor organization as a condition of employment.

The Michigan legislature became the first state in almost 60 years to repeal it's right-to-work law earlier this year. However, in doing so, the initiative did not have sufficient support to allow the repeal to be immediately effective. Most thought the repeal would not be effective until approximately March 30, 2024.

We now know it will be effective six weeks sooner than originally thought. Specifically, under Michigan law, when legislation does not have sufficient votes for immediate effect, it does not go into effect until 91 days after the end of the legislative session. Historically, since the legislature normally works until the end of the year, that means that any legislation not given immediate effect is not effective until the end of March, the year following that legislative session.

However, the Michigan Legislature recently passed a concurrent resolution to adjourn for the year on Nov. 14. Bills without immediate effect will now be effective approximately six weeks earlier than expected. The right-to-work repeal will likely be effective on Feb. 13, 2024, instead of March 30, 2024, as previously anticipated.
Michigan's Right-to-Work Repeal Now Effective Mid-February
Barnes & Thronburg via SHRM | Nov 2023

Text of the measure.
Effective date:   2/13/2024

What is a "right-to-work" state?

Additional Law Firm Articles

Right to Work Briefly Explained: Unions in non-right-to-work states typically negotiate into collective bargaining agreements provisions known as union security clauses, which require employees to join or financially support a union as a condition of employment.
Michigan Repeals Right-to-Work Law
Littler | Mar 2023

Recent years have seen a resurgence of right-to-work laws across the country, especially in the Midwest. Indiana started the flurry of right-to-work adoption in 2012 by becoming the 23rd right-to-work state in the country, the first state to enact such a law in 12 years.
Michigan "Right to Work" Law Soon to Be Repealed: What Should Employers Do?
Fisher Phillips | Mar 2023

However, employers should be aware that technically this change only applies to union dues, not union membership. An employee may still refuse to be a member of a labor organization, even though that organization serves as his or her collective bargaining representative, and he or she is obligated to pay some form of dues to the union.
Michigan Repeals 'Right-to-Work' Law
Faegre | Mar 2023

Michigan Rolls Back its "Right-To-Work" Law
Benesch | Mar 2023

Michigan Governor Signs Into Law Two Landmark Bills Repealing Right-to-Work Language
Miller Canfield | Mar 2023


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