What Supreme Court ruling means for labor unions in California

Jun 30, 2014

Supreme Court Issues Ruling In Hobby Lobby ACA Contraception Mandate Case

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 30: People arrive to attend the final session of the term at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Today the high court is expected to give its ruling on whether a private company can be exempted on religious grounds from health care reform’s requirement that employer sponsored health insurance policies cover contraception. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images); Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Supreme Court today ruled in a 5-4 decision that some government employees don’t need to pay fees to labor unions representing them. The case was brought by a group of 8 home care health workers in Illinois. Even though members of public employee unions don’t have to pay union membership dues, Illinois and other states including California do require government workers to pay “fair share” agency fees to help pay for a union’s collective bargaining efforts. Today’s decision lets home health care workers out of paying those agency fees, based on the finding that home health workers are not fully state employees. The ruling is narrow by applying only to home health care workers and didn’t go so far as to strike down a decades-old law requiring  many public-sector workers to pay union fees, but could this lay the legal foundation for future cases that could deteriorate union membership in California?



Eileen Boris, Hull Professor in the Department of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Barbara and author of Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State 2012

Scott Shackford, Associate Editor at for Reason Foundation Reason supports the Supreme Court decison



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