Court: Indiana's RTW law not unconstitutional

INDIANAPOLIS - A federal appeals court has ruled Indiana’s Right to Work law does not violate federal labor law or any constitutional rights.

The three-judge panel handed down a divided ruling Tuesday.

The decision means Indiana’s Right to Work law – which prohibits companies from forcing employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment – remains in effect.

The court’s ruling said “Because it is federal law that provides a duty of fair representation, Indiana’s right‐to‐work statute does not 'take' property from the Union – it merely precludes the Union from collecting fees designed to cover the costs of performing the duty.”

In her dissent, Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote, “Today’s decision is either incorrect or it lays bare an unconstitutional confiscation perpetuated by our current system of labor law.”

The Indiana General Assembly passed the law in 2012, despite vigorous protests by unions, and a walkout by democratic lawmakers.

Two Lake County judges have ruled the state’s Right to Work law unconstitutional, but the Indiana Supreme Court has stayed both decisions.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in one of those cases on Thursday.

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