Supreme Court Grants Petition To Hear Public Sector Union Dues Case

On June 30, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to review the case of Friedrichs et al., v. California Teachers Association, et al., filed by 10 California public school teachers against the California Teachers Association.

Specifically, in Friedrichs, public school teachers resigned their union membership and challenged a California law that required every public school teacher to pay union dues  to  the union unless the teacher objected to the fees unrelated to bargaining.

The teachers claim that such compulsory payments violate their constitutional right to free speech and free association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The teachers appealed a trial court decision dismissing the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs California, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal.

By agreeing to review this case, the Supreme Court is re-examining its prior decision which held that laws requiring public sector employees to pay such fees to their public sector unions did not violate the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will likely issue a ruling by June of 2016.

Should the Supreme Court overturn its prior decision, fair share provisions in collective bargaining agreements may become void. Governor Rauner has filed a similar lawsuit in Federal District Court in Chicago which is currently pending before Judge Gettleman.

Contact Stan Eisenhammer and John DiJohn with your inquiries.

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