The recent Supreme Court ruling in the case Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 has sent shockwaves through the labor union community—and if you run a union-covered business in one of the 22 states impacted, this is something you need to be aware of!
The Janus ruling decrees that employees at union shops who choose not to participate in the unions themselves cannot have dues automatically deducted from their paychecks. However, these same employees, by law, can still benefit from union representation in collective bargaining.
The case was brought by Mark Janus of Illinois, who didn’t belong to the union representing him and no longer wanted the union’s fees deducted from his paycheck. The court’s decision overturns nearly four decades of established union law and impacts businesses in such states as New York, New Jersey, and California.
Critics of the Janus ruling state that it’s a dire blow to the labor movement, potentially encouraging countless numbers of workers to opt-out of the unions while still expecting collective bargaining representation. Supporters of the decision hail it as a victory for workers from what they call “union tyranny.”
Theoretically, such a Supreme Court ruling should now be the law of the land—but human factors such as appeals and reworded rules could happen. That’s why at this early stage it’s crucial that you consult your state’s labor department or labor lawyers moving immediately forward regarding deductions. We will update this story as more specific information becomes available.