Law & Courts News in Brief

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Exclusive Union Representation

By Mark Walsh — May 07, 2019 1 min read

The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to take up a case that held the potential to deal a further blow to public-employee unions, including those in K-12 and higher education, in the wake of last term’s major decision that removed the ability of such unions to collect service fees from nonmembers.

The newly denied case involved the right of public unions in many states to be the exclusive representative for all employees in a bargaining unit, along with whether nonmembers have First Amendment speech and associational interests in not being represented if they object.

Those interests were central to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision last term in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 31 to overrule a 41-year-old precedent that allowed the teachers’ unions and other public-employee labor organizations to collect fees for collective bargaining from workers who decline to join the union. The justices also ruled that workers must affirmatively opt into the union before fees can be taken out of their paychecks.

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A version of this article appeared in the May 08, 2019 edition of Education Week as Supreme Court Won’t Hear Challenge to Exclusive Union Representation

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