Boone County is a “Right To Work” County
At the March 17, 2015, Boone County Fiscal Court meeting, the Court unanimously passed an economic development ordinance often referred to as “Right to Work.” The County has been advised that this designation is extremely important to prospective companies when they make decisions as to where to locate, or re–locate their businesses. According to Judge/Executive Gary Moore, “Competition in the economic development arena is as fierce as ever. 25 states and several Kentucky counties have adopted Right to Work legislation. With the Kentucky House of Representative’s defeat of Senate Bill 1, now is the time for Boone County to enact a Right to Work ordinance that will enhance our competitiveness and promote economic growth”
A central issue in the ordinance is a workers right to choose to pay dues/fees or not pay dues/fees as a condition of employment. The ordinance provides that no person covered by the National Labor Relations Act shall be required, as a condition of employment or continuation of employment:
- To resign or refrain from voluntary membership, affiliation or financial support of a labor organization;
- To become or remain a member of a labor organization;
- To pay any dues, fees, assessments or charges of any kind or amount to a labor organization;
- To pay to any charity or other third party any amount equivalent to or a pro–rata portion of dues, fees, assessments, or other charges regularly required of members of a labor organization;
- To be recommended, approved, referred, or cleared by or through a labor organization.
Further, it shall be unlawful to deduct from the wages, earnings, or compensation of an employee any union dues, fees, assessments, or other charges unless the employee has first presented to employer a signed, written authorization. It is important to note that the new ordinance shall apply to labor contracts and renegotiations effective after the date of adoption, but not to those already in existence at the time of adoption.
The need to use every tool available to attract and enhance job opportunities for the citizens of Boone County is extremely important. According to Judge Moore, “When you look at Wisconsin just becoming the twenty–fifth state to have some type of right–to–work legislation, it clearly is a movement that is sweeping across the country. This is about attracting new jobs and new companies, period. We have to continue to be aggressive in the economic development job creation arena because you are going to have gains and losses. If we ever get to a point where we are sitting on our laurels and become complacent that could be very dangerous for the continued prosperity of Boone County.”