NFIB: Right-to-work effort top priority for small business in 2021

Annual small business survey includes results for labor, workers’ comp issues

NASHVILLE — State members of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) strongly support a right-to-work constitutional amendment, according to NFIB’s annual survey. 

Seventy-three percent of NFIB members support a resolution that would allow Tennesseans to vote to place our existing right-to-work law in the state constitution, while 14% oppose and 13% are undecided. Tennessee’s right-to-work law, which has been in place since 1947, ensures a worker’s employment is not conditional on paying union dues. The legislature must pass a resolution by a two-thirds vote in both chambers for the initiative to be placed on the 2022 ballot for voters to consider.

In other survey results:

  • Eighty percent believe any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should not be presumptively compensated by workers’ compensation, while 12% support and 8% are undecided.
  • Fifty-three percent support the state’s workers’ compensation agency being allowed to issue subpoenas when employers are suspected of intentionally avoided paying premiums, while 26% are opposed and 21% are undecided.
  • Forty-five percent support the state being able to issue stop-work orders if employers do not obtain workers’ compensation coverage after a five-day grace period, while 35% oppose and 20% are undecided.

“Tennessee is a very attractive state to own and operate a small business, and we must continue to promote sensible policies that help them grow and create jobs,” said Jim Brown, NFIB state director. “Right-to-work laws are under attack at the national and state levels, so it’s very important that Tennessee enshrines this fundamental right into our state Constitution.”

Brown said NFIB will continue to work with state leaders this year to help small businesses survive the pandemic. The 112th Tennessee General Assembly started Jan. 12.

The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s largest small business advocacy organization. To learn more about NFIB in Tennessee, visit and follow @NFIB_TN on Twitter.

About NFIB

For more than 75 years, NFIB has been the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan and member driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

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