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27 Jun 2018 Janus Decided: Supreme Court Invalidates Mandatory Public Union Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court waited until the last day of its term to release the much-anticipated decision over mandatory public union fees in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4 decision along party lines, the court ruled that public unions cannot force non-members to pay dues, giving every public sector employee in the United States right-to-work protections. The opinion’s author, Justice Samuel Alito, held that “employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken…

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27 Feb 2018 U.S. Supreme Court to Take Up Independent Contractor Arbitration Case

An important case is on the horizon for those involved in the transportation industry. Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of New Prime, Inc., a transportation company that is asking the Court to overrule the First Circuit and find that an independent contractor’s class action claim should be compelled to arbitration.   Here is the scenario. A truck driver signed an independent contractor agreement as part of the company’s apprentice program –…

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21 Dec 2017 NLRB Asks Ninth Circuit to Uphold Purple Communications Decision

  On Dec. 19, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to affirm its ruling in the controversial Purple Communications decision. Purple Communications, you might remember, was a 2014 decision that overturned the Register Guard standard for employee use of company email for nonwork purposes.   The standard under the 2007 Register Guard decision was that employees had no right under the National Labor Relations Act…

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05 Oct 2017 Will Mandatory Fees to Public Unions Survive? SCOTUS Set to Revisit the Issue

  The U.S. Supreme Court will once again address whether public-sector unions can collect mandatory fees from nonmembers to help pay for collective bargaining.   As previously reported, the high court heard this issue last term in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and appeared poised to rule against the union, but deadlocked 4-4 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That caused the lower court’s decision in favor of the unions to…

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27 Sep 2017 High Court to Resolve Whether Class Action Waivers Violate NLRA

  On Oct. 2, the U.S. Supreme Court will resume its fall session and tackle, among other issues, whether class action waivers in arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The court will consider a consolidated set of cases emerging from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits, which have taken conflicting views on this question. The court’s resolution of this…

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30 Mar 2016 California Labor Row Highlights Importance of Supreme Court Nomination Decision

  Just over a month since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, a now-equally divided U.S. Supreme Court (4-4) issued a single-page per curiam opinion on March 29 affirming the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., which allows public-sector unions in California to charge compulsory union fees to employees. This decision, while unsurprising considering the makeup of the court without Justice Scalia, had been expected to be…

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