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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The National Labor Relations Board recently proposed changes to its pre-election and post-election procedures that would significantly impact employers and could result in a greater number of successful union elections.  Most notably, the reform would require that the pre-election hearing be held within 7 days after the hearing notice is served (absent special circumstances).  Currently,

On the heels of the well publicized settlement this past February between the Hartford office of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and AMR of Connecticut resulting from the NLRB’s complaint that the employer unlawfully terminated an employee in response to the employee’s criticism of her supervisor on Facebook, another social media issue has caught

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

Recent developments following the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election results indicate that the NLRB will affect sweeping changes in 2011 making union organizing easier and compliance more onerous and expensive for employers. Employers face greater enforcement mechanisms, modifications to agency policies and procedures, and additional regulatory requirements under certain initiatives implemented and under consideration.