Supreme Court tackles case posing threat to public-sector unions

September 29, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Employers—especially public-sector employers—are eagerly awaiting the outcome of a case going to the U.S. Supreme Court that may deal a blow to unions’ ability to collect dues.

On September 28, the Court announced that it will hear Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Counsel 31. The case, out of Illinois, challenges the union’s right to collect what’s known as “fair share” or “agency” fees from employees who don’t belong to the union and are covered under union-negotiated contracts.

With the addition of conservative Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to the Court earlier this year, many expect a union defeat.

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Voters reject changes to South Dakota’s right-to-work law

November 09, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Jennifer Suich Frank

On November 8, South Dakota voters rejected Initiated Measure (IM) 23, which would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers reduced “fair share” dues for services like collective bargaining. An overwhelming 79 percent of South Dakotans voted against the measure.

A right-to-work law means employees have the right to work without being required to join a union. Right-to-work laws are aimed at preventing employers and labor unions from excluding nonunion employees or requiring all employees to pay a fee to a union regardless of whether they belong to the union. In essence, IM 23 would have allowed unions to charge nonmembers fees to cover expenses for work from which nonmember employees would purportedly benefit.

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Compulsory public-sector union dues survive deadlocked Supreme Court

March 29, 2016 0 COMMENTS

A 4-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a closely watched case on public-sector unions leaves previous legal precedent intact, effectively sealing a union victory.

On March 29, the evenly split Court issued a one-sentence ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that allows the decision of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to stand. If not for the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the ruling may have gone the other way.

“With Justice Scalia’s death, public-sector unions dodged not just a bullet but a cannonball,” Jeffrey Sloan, an attorney with Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai LLP in San Francisco, said after the ruling was announced.

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Right to work and how it will work in Michigan

December 13, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Gary Fealk

On December 11, Michigan passed Senate Bill 116, commonly known as the right-to-work law. In accordance with the Michigan Constitution (Article IV, Section 27), the law will go into effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

Under the law, an individual cannot be required to do any of the following to obtain or continue employment: read more…