The Supreme Court’s Janus Decision

In a long-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court held in Janus v. AFSCME that compulsory “fair share” systems in the public sector violate the First Amendment rights of non-union members. The Court’s decision, breaking 5-4 along familiar party lines, overturns the Court’s 41-year landmark decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. upholding the legality of fair share. Fair share systems exist in the majority of states with statewide collective…

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Supreme Court Rejects Request To Hold ‘Fair Share’ Unconstitutional

In what some have termed the most significant labor case in years, the United States Supreme Court has rejected a request to hold “fair share” assessments unconstitutional. “Fair share” assessments occur under the laws of 20 states which not only grant public employees the right to bargain, but also impose upon unions the duty to fairly represent all members of their bargaining units. Under “fair share” provisions, non-union members…

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Chicago PD BlackBerry Case Picks Up Steam

Jeffrey Allen, a Chicago police sergeant, brought a lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contending that the City failed to pay him all overtime he worked. In particular, Allen alleged that he and other employees in the Bureau of Organized Crime were issued BlackBerries, and that the employees were not paid for the time spent off duty performing work with their BlackBerries. A federal court has now…

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Supreme Court Questions Legality of Agency Shop Provisions

In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, the Supreme Court for the first time raised question about the continuing legality of “fair share” or agency fees. “Fair Share” is a bargaining system where employees are free to be non-members of a union, but must pay to the union their “fair share” of the costs of negotiating and administering a collective bargaining agreement. Though the Supreme Court has…

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