A Kentucky District Court judge ruled that local governments cannot enact right to work laws. Right-to-work policies ban mandatory union dues or fees, as a condition of employment.

Since 2014, eleven counties in Kentucky (including Hardin County) enacted these right to work laws. The first county did so directly after Louisville became the first city in the state to raise its minimum wage.

The Unions challenged this legislation in Hardin County, and U.S. District Court Judge Hale ruled that pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), only state governments can enact such policies.

The decision stated “Because the Court finds that local regulation of union-security agreements is preempted by the NLRA, the right-to-work ordinance at issue here is invalid.”

This is the second time a judge has invalidated local right-to-work law in Kentucky. The first time was in 1965 in Shelbyville.

The decision can still be appealed. ACT Ohio will continue to provide updates on this legislation.