by Subhash Viswanathan and Jacqueline Smith, Bond Schoeneck & King
Among the cases that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear during its 2015-2016 term is one of particular significance to those in the public sector—Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. A decision in favor of the plaintiffs has the potential to affect the implementation and regulation of union agency shop fees nationwide.
Union shop fees
The case was originally brought by a California public school teacher, Rebecca Friedrichs, who argued that the mandatory payment of agency shop fees violated her First Amendment right to free association and free speech.
Currently, public-sector employees in New York who choose not to join the union that has been certified as their collective bargaining representative are required (under the so-called Taylor Law) to pay fees associated with the union’s collective bargaining and contract administration costs.
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