Union Agency Fees Remain Valid After Supreme Court Speaks In Friedrichs

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 4-4 ruling on March 29, 2016 in the Friedrich’s case leaves unions’ agency fees intact for now.  It remains possible that the Court could revisit the same questions at some point in the future.  The Friedrich’s case involves the public sector workplace, where government workplaces, public budgets, and Constitutional limitations can create unique labor relations issues distinct from the private sector.  Those interested are advised to stay tuned for further developments as controversies over mandatory union fees and dues will persist, especially as union membership declines and the health and political influence of labor unions depends heavily on the revenue generated by such fees and dues.  While labor unions likely see some temporary relief from this ruling, the prospect of the issue resurfacing is significant.  In that light, employers should expect labor to be energized in future debate over confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice to fill Justice Scalia’s vacancy.  Unquestionably, labor will work hard to protect its interests, its voice, and the revenue stream needed to maintain them.

A post on the matter from the Firm’s Education Law Practice Group can be accessed here.

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