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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Freedom to Work (FTW)

Michigan's Freedom to Work laws went into effect on March 28, 2013. Those laws amend two labor statutes: the Labor Mediation Act (LMA), governing the private sector, and the Public Employment Relations Act (PERA), applying to the public sector. Generally, the FTW laws prohibit union-security agreements, which required that private and/or public employees pay union dues or service fees as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment. Employees who choose to opt-out of the union are still afforded rights and benefits as members of the bargaining unit. Additionally, the FTW laws do not prohibit employees from joining or financially assisting a labor organization or participating in collective bargaining with an employer.

In some of the Commission's freedom to work decisions issued prior to the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, et al., 585 U.S. ___ (2018), there may be language that is not consistent with the decision in Janus.   In Janus, the Court held that States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employees because this is a violation of the employees’ First Amendment rights. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Freedom to Work Informational Posters

Freedom to Work in the Private Sector** PDF icon

Freedom to Work in the Public Sector** PDF icon

** NOTE: Employers may place the appropriate poster in the workplace. Use of the poster is optional.