Nebraska State Constitution Article XV-13

Article XV-13


Labor organizations; no denial of employment; closed shop not permitted.

No person shall be denied employment because of membership in or affiliation with, or resignation or expulsion from a labor organization or because of refusal to join or affiliate with a labor organization; nor shall any individual or corporation or association of any kind enter into any contract, written or oral, to exclude persons from employment because of membership in or nonmembership in a labor organization.


  • Neb. Const. art. XV, sec. 13 (1946);
  • Adopted 1946, Initiative Measure No. 302, sec. 1.


A public employer may not withhold pay raises otherwise determined to be granted to public employees in a given year solely on the basis that they were engaged in a labor dispute over a previous year's wages. Local No. 2088, Am. Fed. of State, County and Municipal Emp. v. County of Douglas, 208 Neb. 511, 304 N.W.2d 368 (1981).

A uniquely personal termination of employment would not violate this section. Nebraska Dept. of Roads Employees Assn. v. Department of Roads, 189 Neb. 754, 205 N.W.2d 110 (1973).

An employer's action or nonaction which results in cessation of an employee's employment is unlawful if the employer's motive is to discourage union membership or activity or in reprisal for such activity. Mid-Plains Education Assn. v. Mid-Plains Nebraska Tech. College, 189 Neb. 37, 199 N.W.2d 747 (1972).

Union shop agreements in railroad industry violated this section. Hanson v. Union Pacific R. R. Co., 160 Neb. 669, 71 N.W.2d 526 (1955).

Right to Work Amendment sustained as constitutional. Lincoln Federal Labor Union v. Northwestern Iron & Metal Co., 149 Neb. 507, 31 N.W.2d 477 (1948), affirmed in 335 U.S. 525 (1949).

As to railroad employees, Congress has provided for union shop, and congressional enactment prevails over this section. Railway Employees' Department v. Hanson, 351 U.S. 225 (1956).

Public policy that employment not be denied on basis of union membership includes public as well as private employment. American Federation of State, Co., & Mun. Emp. v. Woodward, 406 F.2d 137 (8th Cir. 1969).