Louisville, Ky. – A federal judge in Louisville has ruled that local governments in Kentucky cannot enact their own right-to-work laws.
Right-to-work policies ban mandatory union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
U.S. District Court Judge David Hale ruled that Hardin County can’t ban labor unions from requiring employees to join their organization, saying the decision found that under current federal law – the National Labor Relations Act – only states can enact the policy.
Hardin County attorney John Lovett has been reported to say that he will now take this case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Kentucky State AFL-CIO President Bill Londrigan said the decision was a victory for working families in Kentucky.
“These illegal ordinances would have affected all working people, union and non-union, by decreasing wages, lowering median household incomes, increasing poverty and undermining workplace safety,” he said in a statement.
Right-to-work supporters say such policies make it easier for Kentucky to compete for new business.
Hardin County officials, in 2015, passed an ordinance banning mandatory labor union law membership after Louisville raised the minimum wage higher than the federal limit.