U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Right-To-Work

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Wisconsin’s right-to-work law last week. In the decision, Judge Joel Flaum, joined by Judges Frank Easterbrook and Michael Kanne, reaffirmed the U.S. District Court’s decision in September to uphold the law in International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) v. Schimel. In upholding the constitutionality of Wisconsin’s right-to-work law, the District Court cited the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ 2014 ruling in Sweeney v. Pence that Indiana’s right-to-work law is constitutional. The Circuit Court cited the same Indiana decision in its ruling last week, maintaining that Sweeny is still good law and IUOE gave no compelling reasons to revisit the decision.

Wisconsin became the 25th right to work state in 2015. Right-to-work laws bar businesses and unions from reaching labor agreements that force workers to pay fees to the union. Various state unions challenged the constitutionality of the law, and there is also ongoing litigation at the state level on the law.