Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be charged for the cost of collective bargaining and related activities.

In a 5-to-4 decision, a majority of the Court noted in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, that “agency fees” violate, “the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.”

As we have reported before, this case stemmed from an Illinois public sector employee who challenged a requirement that government workers who opt out of a union still have to pay partial dues (known as an “agency fee”) to cover the union’s cost of negotiation and other functions associated with policing and enforcing the contract.  This decision overrules the Court’s own 41-year-old precedent, which said workers did not have to pay for unions’ political activities but could be required to contribute to other costs of representation, such as negotiating wages and benefits and processing grievances.  The Court’s decision frees those non-members from having to pay the fees.
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While significant inroads have been made in implementing defined contribution plans for new hires in Connecticut municipal negotiations, police and fire unions have continued to resist such changes, citing, among other things, the greater likelihood a cop or firefighter may become disabled on the job than other municipal workers.  Nonetheless, while still in the minority,

Employers of persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”) should know that they are subject to the United States Department of Transportation (“DOT”), Federal Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) regulations.  The regulations, commonly known as “Part 40,” require commercial motor vehicle operators to be tested for drugs

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, a California jury recently awarded a hospital employee $168 million, including $125 million in punitive damages, to a female physician assistant who endured two years of sexually inappropriate behavior and then was fired for reporting the harassment as well as patient care violations.  The perpetrators included cardiac

In what will no doubt be viewed as a landmark decision, an interest arbitration panel has issued an award which will allow the New Haven Public Schools to privatize 86 of the 186 positions in its custodial and maintenance union, and in the process save nearly $4 million dollars.

Faced with skyrocketing pension and health insurance cost which are expected to outpace the growth in revenues over the foreseeable future, the City of New Haven and its Board of Education were forced to look for ways to substantially cut operating costs.  Having already laid off nearly 300 employees over the last two fiscal years, the Board and the City began to look at other options.

Among the options considered was outsourcing services that could continue to be provided at a substantial savings.  An option that emerged was the outsourcing of school custodial and related services, which cost the Board $16 million per year.  As a result of an RFP, the Board found a national firm willing to perform the same services for just $8 million, which would mean a net savings to the budget of $8 million per year. 


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Attorney Jeffrey Mogan will be presenting a seminar for the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) on “Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations for Supervisors” on November 16, 2011 in New London.  Attorney Mogan will discuss the DOT testing regulations, including removal from safety-sensitive functions and return to duty requirements, as well as other legal considerations implicated

Effective July 1, 2011, all cases before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities Office of Public Hearing were suspended, see pdf, as the Governor failed to appoint new referees for the term beginning July 1, 2011.  To date, new referees have yet to be appointed.  This all comes as a result of Connecticut’s

Apparently Connecticut Is No Wisconsin.  Despite ground breaking legislation in Wisconsin, Michigan and other locales aimed at providing relief for cash strapped municipalities, none of the initiatives proposed in Connecticut have found any traction in Committee.  Among the reforms sought was one which would have kept interest arbitration intact, but provided minor relief, such as