Supreme Court will consider forced union dues case

Federal court rules $1 billion nursing home case can proceed, ties alleged poor management to IL gub
Federal court rules $1 billion nursing home case can proceed, ties alleged poor management to IL gub

The Supreme Court will consider whether government workers' rights are violated when they're forced to pay dues to unions they don't want to join.

California teachers are claiming that being compelled to pay fees to unions is a violation of their First Amendment rights. The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, seeks to overturn a 38-year-old legal precedent that says unions may collect fees from non-members as long as they're used for collective bargaining costs, not political spending.

Labor officials argue that the case would weaken unions' power, threaten membership and deplete union funds. A decision in favor of the teachers could benefit long-term care management, which has had a strained relationship with unions.

“This case is not about ending unions, but instead, restoring the basic constitutional rights of teachers and other public employees to decide for themselves whether to support the unions' agenda,” wrote Terry Pell, president of the plaintiff's firm Center of Individual Rights, in a statement.

The case will be considered when the Supreme Court begins its new term this fall.