From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
By Chris Opfer
The U.S. Supreme Court will get an opportunity to reconsider whether public sector unions can force nonmember workers to pay “fair share” fees, this time with a full roster of justices on the bench.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation intends by the end of May to file a petition asking the high court to review a Seventh Circuit decision dismissing a lawsuit by two Illinois government workers who challenged the fees on First Amendment grounds, Patrick Semmens, the foundation’s vice president, told Bloomberg BNA.
The Supreme Court in 2016 split 4-4 in a similar case involving fair share fees imposed on California teachers. That was before Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to replace the deceased conservative justice Antonin Scalia on the bench.
“I don’t think we would ever count on any justice to vote one way or the other, but Gorsuch is almost certain to be the decisive vote in the case,” Semmens said.
The NRWLDF and other critics argue that fair share fees force public sector workers to support unions even if they disagree with the organization’s stance on collective bargaining and politics.
Public sector unions in some states charge the fees to nonmember workers in a collective bargaining unit to cover administrative costs related to representation. Although the Supreme Court ruled in 1977 that those fees are constitutional, some observers believe that the justices may be open to changing their minds on the issue.
The Seventh Circuit ruled in 2016 that a federal district court properly dismissed the Illinois government workers’ lawsuit. The appeals panel said one worker already successfully challenged the fee policy on religious grounds—a state board said he could give the money to a charity instead—and that the other employee’s claims had already been resolved by the 1977 Supreme Court decision.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which was sued by the workers, declined Bloomberg BNA’s April 24 request for comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Opfer in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the Seventh Circuit decision is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Janus_v_State_County_and_Municipal_Employees_Council_31_No_C_1636.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)