Supreme Court Divides Equally Over Union Fees Case

by on March 29, 2016

posted in Employment Law, Recent Court Decisions, U.S. Supreme Court, Unions,

Previously we wrote about Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (a link to our previous article is here), a case involving whether public-sector union fair share arrangements are invalid because they violate individual first amendment rights.

Today, the Supreme court divided equally in deciding the case and issued a one-sentence decision affirming the Appellate Court decision and leaving earlier precedent, including the Abood case intact (as criticized as it has become.)  The case was decided by an eight-member Court, which could have held the case over for re-argument after confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice but chose to move forward instead.

The result of this is that mandatory union fees still can be imposed on public-sector employees in any given bargaining unit under agency-shop arrangements.  However, the unions are not out of the woods yet.  It remains possible that appellants could file a petition to rehear the case in the hopes it could be decided by a fully constituted Court.

tags: Abood Case, California Teachers Association, Fair Share Arrangements, Friedrichs, Ninth Circuit, Union Shop,

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