Meaning of Right to Work State

When most people hear the phrase “Arizona is a right-to-work state,” they think it means that an employer can terminate them for any reason whatsoever, with no repercussions.

That is not the case, though. The phrase “right to work” is related most closely to unions, and means that no employee should ever be required to join a union in order to hold a certain position.

Photo by Burst

This gives certain benefits to employees, namely that they don’t have to abide by union rules and regulations (in addition to their employer’s rules and regulations), they don’t have to pay monthly fees, they don’t have to attend union meetings, they aren’t required to go on strike along with all other union employees, etc.

Those all sound like good ideas (when is putting decision-making power in the individual’s hands a bad thing?), but the truth is that Right to Work laws have been some of the most hotly contested laws for a long period of time now.

Opponents of Right to Work laws say that allowing non-union employees into a heavily unionized field leads to free-loaders (where an employee will benefit from the union’s efforts, but pay no monthly dues), and also ends up serving corporations much more than it serves the little guy (since individual workers will be seen as more expendable pieces, rather than a strong cohesive whole).

Those in support of Right to Work laws are always quick to point out how states that are Right to Work have seen much more economic and job growth over the past 40 years than states that are heavily unionized, and how individual workers should always be given a choice with who they want making major career decisions for them.

Arizona is definitely a Right to Work state, but contrary to what most people will say, it does not mean that you are 100% expendable. You still have employment rights, and you still deserve to find yourself in a position where you are respected. If you feel you are being taken advantage of in your current position, or know someone who is, do not hesitate to get in touch with a skilled Arizona employment attorney immediately. They will be able to help you answer all your questions, and explore all your legal options.


Legal issues can be very timely matters that require immediate attention – the faster you begin pursuing resolutions, the better your chances of obtaining them. Contact us for further information.

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