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Judge to Hear Right-to-Work Arguments in Lawsuit Against Hardin County

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Lisa Autry
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A right-to-work lawsuit against Hardin County will be heard Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville. 

Attorney Buddy Cutler is representing nine labor unions that filed the federal lawsuit.

"Our main argument is that under the National Labor Relations Act, only states, and not counties or cities have the right to pass so-called right-to-work ordinances," Cutler told WKU Public Radio.

Attorney Jason Nemes is co-counsel for Hardin County where magistrates passed a local right-to-work law in January. 

Nemes argues the National Labor Relations Act leaves local governments free to act on right-to-work laws.

"When Congress passes a statute that says states may or may not do something, that includes political subdivisions, and in Kentucky, that would include counties," Nemes added.

After years of stalled efforts to pass statewide legislation, twelve Kentucky counties have approved local right-to-work ordinances which allow employees to work in union businesses without paying union dues. 

A ruling on the lawsuit against Hardin County is expected in the fall.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.