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

Nursing home antipsychotic use has dipped nearly 19% under national effort, latest figures show

Nursing home antipsychotic use has dipped nearly 19% ...

The percent of long-stay nursing home residents receiving antipsychotic medication has decreased 18.8% under a nationwide initiative that started in 2012.

Jimmo succeeds in getting Medicare coverage, two years after landmark case ended

Glenda Jimmo has reached a settlement with the federal government and will finally receive Medicare coverage for claims that were denied in 2007, which led her to file a class-action lawsuit over the so-called "improvement standard."

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Kindred Healthcare announced Thursday that it has chosen a new top executive to lead its push toward creating a mammoth national brand. Benjamin A. Breier, the company's current president and ...