Case Law Update: United States Supreme Court Rules Mandatory Public-Sector Union Dues are Unconstitutional


Today, in a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court overturned 40 years of precedent by ruling that mandatory public-sector union dues are unconstitutional. The case was titled Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, U.S., No. 16-1466, which held that, “[n]either an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’s wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay.”

Currently 28 states have “right-to-work” laws that make it illegal to require workers to join a union or pay related fees as a condition of employment. Wisconsin is one such state while Minnesota is not. What this decision does is make every state a right-to-work state for public sector employment.

Given that no public employee can be required to pay union dues or a “fair-share” fee if they choose not to participate in the union, this ruling will have far spread consequences and is likely to result in public unions losing significant financial support.


As legislative or case law changes occur, the Labor & Employment Team at Eckberg Lammers are available to help answer your questions.

Contact Lida Bannink at 651-351-2116 or by email at to talk today.

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