Like many states, North Carolina has a law that protects a worker's right not to join a union. The state legislature has declared that under North Carolina public policy, the right to live includes the right to work (NC Code Sec. 95-78et seq.). In North Carolina, the right to work cannot be denied because of membership or nonmembership in any labor union or labor organization or association (NC Code Sec. 95-80, Sec. 95-81).
The North Carolina law makes it unlawful to force a worker, as a condition of employment, to join a union or pay union dues, fees, or charges (NC Code Sec. 95-82). Contracts calling for union shops (in which new hires must join the union within some specified period of time) are unlawful (NC Code Sec. 95-79). Violation of this law can give rise to a civil suit for money damages by the affected employees (NC Code Sec. 95-83).