The case of Carolina Chemical Equipment Company v. Daniel B. Muckenfuss 322 S.C. 289, 471 S.E.2d 721 (S.C. 1996) contains one of the clearest expressions (albeit borrowed) of a basic right to work:
[T]he right of an individual to follow and pursue the particular occupation for which he is best trained is a most fundamental right. Our society is extremely mobile and our free economy is based competition. One who has worked in a particular field cannot be compelled to erase from his mind all of the general skills, knowledge and expertise acquired through his experience. These skills are valuable to such employee in the market place for his services. Restraints cannot be lightly placed upon his right to compete in the area of his greatest worth.
Now this is a recognition of an authentic “right to work.” So, despite the fact that an employee does not own his job, he owns his body and mind, his labor, his knowledge, and his experience. Right? Well, sort of. For more discussion of protecting the right to work as well as the Muckenfuss case visit my other blog: Beat Your Non-Compete.