On June 27, 2018, the United States Supreme Court declared that fees charged to dissenting employees pursuant to a union agency shop arrangement violates the First Amendment. In a 5-4 vote in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, No. 16-1466, the court found in favor of Mark Janus, an Illinois public employee who refused to join the union yet had so-called agency or "fair share" fees taken from his paycheck every month, adding up to more than $500 each year.
The Supreme Court is issuing labor law decisions at a fast and furious pace this week. Today's decision, Harris v. Quinn, struck down an Illinois law that had previously required non-union Medicaid homecare providers to pay fees equivalent to union dues to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a public employee union. The rationale had been that such employees should be required to pay fees to help cover the union's costs of collective bargaining. Although it invalided the Illinois regulation, the Supreme Court did not go so far as to overturn wholesale a long-standing precedent allowing other unions to impose fees on non-union workers.