On June 27, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on the Janus v. AFSCME case; in a 5-4 decision, the Court overruled Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U.S. 209 (1977), holding that automatic agency-fee deductions violate public employees' First Amendment rights. The Court held that the automatic agency-fee deduction compels payment for private speech, by the Union, on matters of public concern and is therefore a violation of public sector employees' First Amendment rights. This decision mandates that public sector employees grant explicit consent for any deductions remitted to the bargaining representative as the employees’ waiver of First Amendment rights cannot be assumed and must be made explicitly. With this decision, the Supreme Court established that public sector employees cannot be required to financially support unions, effectively making public sector employment “right to work." This decision is immediately effective. All police, firefighter and emergency dispatcher contracts must be amended to comply with this ruling.
Please feel free to contact a Keller Thoma attorney at (313) 965-7610 with any questions.