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Tennessee Signs Historic Law Linking State Economic Incentives to Private-Ballot Protections

MIDLAND, Mich. — Governor Bill Lee signed into law bi-partisan House Bill 1342, securing Tennessee workers’ right to decide union representation through private-ballot elections in workplaces receiving taxpayer-funded state economic incentives. This bill is the first of its kind to be signed into law by any state in the country. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Workers for Opportunity initiative is proud to have worked with leaders on the ground to support their efforts to see this landmark legislation signed into law.

Workers should not be subjected to coercion, deception or intimidation by union organizers. HB 1342 ensures that workers are protected from union-organizing methods such as card check, which strips away workers’ right to private decisions on unionization. The law guarantees that workplaces receiving state taxpayer dollars are free from these strong-armed union tactics – getting Tennessee taxpayers out of the business of funding union coercion.

“Thanks to the bold leadership of Governor Bill Lee, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, House Speaker Cameron Sexton and the entire state legislature, many workers across Tennessee will now be guaranteed the right to a private vote on unionization,” said Senior Labor Policy Advisor Vincent Vernuccio.

“This historic bill is a testament to the bipartisan commitment of Tennessee legislators to protect workplace freedom in the Volunteer State,” said Vernuccio. “Just like Tennesseans enjoy the right to privacy at the ballot box, Tennessee workers deserve the right to decide union representation through a secret ballot vote. The right to vote is just as important as the right to work.”

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