• Choose Language:
  • print
  • decrease text sizeincrease text size
    text
  • Home
    • Our Programs
      • Press Room
        • Media Advisory: Do You Know The Difference Between Right To Work and At-Will Employment? Many Americans Don’t.
main content

Our Programs
Media Advisory: Do You Know The Difference Between Right To Work and At-Will Employment? Many Americans Don’t.

Media Advisory: Do You Know The Difference Between Right To Work and At-Will Employment? Many Americans Don’t.

SILVER SPRING, Md. (October 11, 2017) – Two important issues for workers that are frequently a source of confusion are "Right to Work" laws and "Employment at Will." However, many people in the public, and even in the media, don’t know that these are two very different concepts. To better understand these issues that are central to workplace rights, visit Workplace Fairness, or call our Senior Advisor, Paula Brantner, to learn more about these and other workplace issues that affect most US workers.

Workplacefairness.org provides comprehensive, up-to-date, easy to read information about At-Will Employment, and Right to Work laws. A quick read of these pages will help anyone, whether a union member or not, to better understand the issues and act to advocate for their rights.

"At-Will Employment" is not a union issue. "Employment at will" is the term used to describe the employment situation of most U.S. workers who are not part of a union or a government employee. Employment at will describes an employment relationship where an employer can terminate a workers’ employment for any reason or for no reason – just not an illegal reason. This type of employment is essentially the default in the United States, in the absence of a union or other contract – except in the state of Montana, which has a requirement that workers be terminated for cause.

"Right to Work" is a union issue. 28 states currently have "Right to Work" laws which permit workers who choose not to belong to a union and not to pay dues to benefit from the collective bargaining of the union in their pay and benefits. The laws are designed to weaken unions and limit their financial resources and bargaining power. However, some mistakenly use the term "right to work" when they actually mean "employment at will." As we talk about this issue in the media it is vital that the public not misunderstand what is being discussed.

But what place do unions have in today’s workforce? Unions may seem like an aging institution, but they are vitally important to our economy and to millions of workers in the United States today. Unions helped us fight hard to win the weekend, the 40-hour work week, and anti-child labor laws. Millions of Americans who don’t belong to a union may not know how important they still are. Today’s unions are helping fight the good fight for $15 minimum wage, providing relief funds for disaster victims, advocating for working immigrants who are under fire, giving a voice to workers on how to revise NAFTA, advocating against predatory lending, and much more.

What do these issues have to do with each other? As Right-to-Work laws take hold, they stifle the ability of workers to unionize and collectively bargain for fair workplaces. Weak unions mean more people become at-will employees and don’t enjoy the protection of a union agreement. Workers who are not protected from termination are less likely to bargain for higher wages and more benefits, and even to protest potentially illegal conduct for which they do have protection.

Knowledge is power. A quick visit to Workplacefairness.org will tell workers and advocates all they need to know about Right to Work and At-Will Employment, so they can join the conversation in a meaningful way and make their voices heard.

Workplace Fairness is supported by a volunteer board of attorneys and other experts who have a passion for ensuring workers are treated fairly in the workplace. Here’s an inside look at the thought leaders and individuals who make it possible to assist the more than 4 million annual website visitors: http://www.workplacefairness.org/board. Ask us about private interview opportunities regarding a variety of workers’ rights issues.

Who:

Workplace Fairness is a nonprofit organization that provides information, education and assistance to individual workers and their advocates nationwide and promotes public policies that advance employee rights.

What:

Workplace Fairness has up to date information resources on labor unions and employment at will.

When:

Individual interviews with Workplace Fairness Staff and Members of the Board of Directors’ can be scheduled to discuss workplace issues for workers and employers.

Media Contact:  Paula Brantner Senior Advisor 240-772-1205 [email protected]www.workplacefairness.org

 

# # #
About Workplace Fairness

Workplace Fairness is a nonprofit organization that provides information, education and assistance to individual workers and their advocates nationwide and promotes public policies that advance employee rights.

Our goals are that workers and their advocates are educated about workplace rights and options for resolving workplace problems and that policymakers, members of the business community and the public at large view the fair treatment of workers as both good business practice and sound public policy.

Workplace Fairness works toward these goals by:

  • Making comprehensive information about workers' rights—free of legal jargon—readily available to workers and to advocates and organizations that assist workers;
  • Providing resources to support the work of legal services organizations, community-based organizations, law schools and private attorneys that provide free legal information and services to low-income workers;
  • Presenting the employee perspective in publications, policy debates and public discussion.

 

A 2017 Webby Award Honoree, the award-winning Workplace Fairness website has newly updated information throughout the site, as part of the web's most comprehensive resource educating workers about their legal rights in the workplace.

 

Sign up for the Workplace Fairness weekly newsletter, Workplace Week, here.

 

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn – Like our Facebook page to find out more about workplace news. 

Media Contact: 
Paula Brantner
Senior Advisor
240-772-1205
[email protected]
www.workplacefairness.org

 

 




  • Find an Employment Lawyer

  • Support Workplace Fairness

Follow us on:

 
 

Find an Employment Attorney

The Workplace Fairness Attorney Directory features lawyers from across the United States who primarily represent workers in employment cases. Please note that Workplace Fairness does not operate a lawyer referral service and does not provide legal advice, and that Workplace Fairness is not responsible for any advice that you receive from anyone, attorney or non-attorney, you may contact from this site.