HR Matters

Kentucky Supreme Court Affirms New Right to Work Law

Earlier this month, the Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the state’s new “Right to Work” law enacted this past January. Several labor unions immediately challenged the constitutionality of the new law – arguing that the law unfairly targeted only collective bargaining agreements and provided union employees unequal protection under the law. Kentucky’s reasoning for becoming the nation’s 27th “Right to Work” state – to spur economic grown and eliminate Kentucky’s disadvantage with respect to its neighboring right-to-work states in competing to attract new businesses – narrowly passed muster with a 4-3 divided Court. The majority agreed that it was the state legislature and the executive branch, not the courts, that should make economic policies. Only collective bargaining agreements (including extensions) entered into after January 7, 2017 are affected. The Right to Work law will not impact employees currently subject to a collective bargaining agreement until after that CBA expires.