Court curtails union fees

Share this article:
The U.S. Supreme Court came down against organized labor recently in a 7-2 ruling that opens the door for objections to unexpected fee increases or special assessments.

Unions must allow nonmembers to object to such atypical funding demands, which are typically used for political contributions, the country's highest court determined. The ruling is a boost to employers and especially dissenters in “closed shop” workplaces, where union membership is required during a member's employment there.

The case was brought by non-members of the Service Employees International Union's Local 1000. They objected to paying an unexpected $12 million assessment for use in political campaigning. [SEIU has been an aggressive union organizer in the long-term care environment in recent years.]

“When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment intended to fund solely political lobbying efforts, the First Amendment requires that the union provide non-members an opportunity to opt out of the contribution of funds,” wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who agreed with the judgment.

The ruling reverses an earlier decision by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan cast the dissenting votes.
Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...