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Supreme Court Set To Issue Landmark Ruling On Public Employee Union Fees

© Krantz News Service, June 17, 2018


A looming Supreme Court case could have a significant political impact in 22 states where dues are mandatory for public-sector workers represented by unions.

At issue in the case of Janus v. AFSCME is whether employees who do not belong to a union should be required to pay a union fee to a union which is required to represent all workers, including non-members.

Petitioner Mark Janus cites his First Amendment rights in saying no to this question, while Respondent AFSCME says yes, citing the rationale in court precedent not to incentivize "free riders" benefitting from union negotiations.

The Court is expected to release an opinion in the case very soon.

Overall union membership nationwide declined by about one-half between 1983 and 2015. But the decline has been almost entirely in the private sector. Thus the union membership rate of public-sector workers is more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The ruling will be especially important where unions still represent more than 15 percent of the workforce -- in states such as California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Washington.

It will not have an impact in the 28 states governed by right-to-work laws.

LegiCrawler Analytics will report on the opinion when it is released and analyze ongoing and subsequent legislative developments related to the controversy. If you would like to subscribe and keep up with the latest news and legislative response, please email us at bkrantz@legicrawler.com or call 202-642-0288.

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