This April, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that prevents local governments from enacting laws that weaken the power of labor unions, also referred to as “right-to-work” laws. The bill is known as the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act (“CBFA”), which Pritzker stated was designed to prevent right-to-work laws from cutting employee benefits, lowering wages, and hurting Illinois’ working families. The CBFA was in response to the Village of Lincolnshire’s 2015 ordinance mandating that workers could not be compelled to join a labor union as a condition of employment. The ordinance was later struck down in 2017 by a U.S. District Court, and upheld on appeal, when the court ruled that federal law allows state governments to only regulate collective bargaining.
Opponents to the bill believe that right-to-work laws are protected by free speech. With more and more blue-collar workers siding with the Republican Party, right-to-work supporters do not want to force workers to join labor unions that may be loyal to the opposite side of the aisle. Governor Pritzker, however, is confident that this new law will remain in place as it is the state’s job, not the local governments’, to regulate labor laws. To learn more about the Act or compliance with Illinois employment law, contact the attorneys at Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.