Public employees are finally free to make their own decisions about union membership
For decades, government workers in many states could be fired for refusing to financially support a labor union. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Janus v. AFSCME, 585 US (2018), that public employees can no longer be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
Supreme Court staff summarized the decision this way:
“The First Amendment is violated when money is taken from nonconsenting employees for a public-sector union; employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken from them. Accordingly, neither an agency fee nor any other form of payment to a public-sector union may be deducted from an employee, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”
Similarly, in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. Quinn, 573 US (2014), that “partial-public employees” like state-paid home care aides, child care providers and others were free to choose whether to support a union.
Currently, only private-sector employees in certain states can be legally obligated to pay any union dues or fees.
To learn more about how to exercise your constitutional rights, select your state below.