The Iowa legislature is now considering amendments to Iowa’s right-to-work law. This is a hot button political issue – the merits of which I am not discussing in this blog post. What I am addressing is the confusion many people express over the Iowa right-to-work law. Many individuals confuse the law with the belief that non-compete agreements are not enforceable in Iowa. I have heard many times, "Iowa is a right-to-work state so this non-compete is not enforceable, right?"
Wrong. Right-to-work has nothing to do with it. As I discussed in a previous blog post on the topic, non-compete agreements are enforceable in Iowa under certain circumstances. Iowa’s right-to-work issue generally involves the prohibition of a union from making membership or payment of dues or fees a condition of employment, either before or after hire. Iowans are free to work and join a union and Iowans are also free not to join a union. The right-to-work law does not involve the issue of non-compete agreements.
If you are looking for a discussion on the political issues of Iowa’s right-to-work law check out Mark Ingebretsen’s article on IAbiz Online. IAbiz Online, launched in January of 2007, is the companion Website to the new IA.biz Magazine. Both projects are communication tools of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry. (And yes, you might even catch some of my articles re-published on the Web site).