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Employee rights the focus of several Missouri bills

Missouri lawmakers continue to keep employee rights as the topic of the day as opinions differ in the push to make Missouri a "right to work" state. Right to work laws are allowed under the federal 1947 Taft-Hartley Act. Right to work laws regulate or prohibit agreements made between employers and labor unions that would condition employment on worker participation in the union or require union dues or fees.

There are currently several bills that have either been passed or are expected to pass in the Missouri House and Senate. The bills have sprouted controversy between those that support the bills and those that oppose them.

Some advocates of the bills say that the new alterations to the law would facilitate in the repair ot he state's economy. Others say that the bills will not help employees, but hurt them. "It is a continual attack on organized labor," said one concerned man who acts as the business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 453.

There are currently 23 states that have signed bills that have made them right to work states. Missouri would become state number 24 if the bills are enacted into law. Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter sponsored a bill that would make any employer who forces an employee to join a union subject to a misdemeanor.

Whether a person agrees with the proposed legislation or not has no effect on the right to stand up for themselves when one of those labor laws has been violated. Any worker who feels that their employment rights have been violated should discuss their case with an experienced attorney who can help.

Source:, "Labor unions targeted by several Missouri bills," Feb. 4, 2012

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