What You Need to Know About Georgia Right-to-Work Laws

Georgia is a right-to-work state. Here’s everything you need to know about Georgia’s right-to-work laws.

In a right-to-work state, employers can not force employees to join a union or make union payments. Georgia courts can find employers guilty of violating these rights and charge them with a misdemeanor.

Defining a Right-to-Work State

A right-to-work state prohibits employers from requiring employees to join or contribute to a union. Employment contracts cannot ask for prospective employees to engage with a union, and employees may not negotiate one of these contracts. There are currently 28 right-to-work states in the United States.

Related: Breastfeeding at Work in Georgia: Employee Rights

Georgia law states employers cannot require employees to join a union or make union payments as a part of their employment. These laws protect workers whose employers do not hire or fire them because they refuse to contribute to or join a union.

Unions in Georgia

Unions are labor organizations that make decisions about their employment. Union members may negotiate working conditions, wages, or benefits with their employer using a union representative. These representatives bargain with employers and come to agreements for all the workers within their union.

In Georgia, workers have the right to organize or join a union. Georgia workers may also engage in collective bargaining. If workers do not support the union representing them, Georgia law also allows workers to decertify that union.

If an employer or employment contract violates a worker’s rights in Georgia, the worker may file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

Penalties for Violating Right-to-Work Laws in Georgia

If an employer fails to comply with right-to-work laws, a Georgia court may find them guilty of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor in Georgia can lead to a fine of up to $1,000 or less than a year of jail time.

Related: Georgia Employee Monitoring Laws

An employee whose employer unlawfully required them to pay union fees or compelled them to join a union in Georgia may also sue their employer for damages. If a Georgia court finds an employer violated an employee’s right-to-work laws, it may order the employer to pay relief, economic damages, attorneys’ fees, and/or recoverable costs for voidable contracts.

FAQs About Georgia’s Right to Work Laws

Can an employer fire me for joining a union in Georgia?

Right-to-work laws protect workers in Georgia by preventing employers from forcing them to join a union. They are also protected by law if they choose to join a union. According to federal law, employers in Georgia cannot prevent or discourage workers from joining a union.

If an employer prevents or discourages a worker from joining a union, the worker can file a charge or petition with the National Labor Relations Board.

What are collective bargaining rights?

The National Labor Relations Act gives all workers in the United States the right to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is when a representative of workers negotiates conditions with an employer. Unions often conduct this bargaining.

Unions and employers may bargain about wages, working hours, and other conditions of employment. Once both parties come to an agreement, neither party may violate that agreement.

How can a lawyer help me with right-to-work laws in Georgia?

An experienced attorney can help workers understand right-to-work laws. They can help employees determine if an employer has violated their rights. A lawyer can also help employees understand their rights regarding unions in Georgia.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Georgia Right to Work Laws, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Attorneys in Georgia today!