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Ruling will expand worker freedom by allowing public employees a choice in joining and funding a union
NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Illinois native Mark Janus in the monumental case for worker freedom and free speech, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The decision overturned Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), in which the Court ruled that unions can require public employees to pay fees to cover collective bargaining costs.
The Janus decision now expands worker freedom across the country, as more than five million public employees in 22 states that don’t have a Right to Work law, including Illinois, are no longer forced to fund political advocacy without their consent.
Americans for Prosperity-Illinois State Director Andrew Nelms issued the following statement:
“This decision is a huge victory for workers not just in Illinois but across the country. Forcing public workers to fund political activity to keep a job and support their family is a violation of the Constitution. This case vindicates our activists who have long asserted that forcing workers to fund political activity without their consent was a violation of the fundamental and unassailable right to free speech.”
At issue in this case was the power of labor unions to collect “fair share” or “agency fees” from public employees who have opted out of the union in their workplace.
Governor Bruce Rauner initiated the case in 2015 in one of his first acts as Illinois governor.
Mark Janus is a public employee in Illinois that challenged the condition that public workers are required to pay fees to union officials as a condition of working for the government and serving the public. Janus argued because his employer’s collective bargaining directly affects public policy issues like pension liabilities, taxes, spending, and more that he should not be compelled to fund this lobbying and political speech.
For further information or an interview, reach Lorenz Isidro, LIsidro@afphq.org or 703.887.7724.
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) exists to recruit, educate, and mobilize citizens in support of the policies and goals of a free society at the local, state, and federal level, helping every American live their dream – especially the least fortunate. AFP has more than 3.2 million activists across the nation, a local infrastructure that includes 36 state chapters, and has received financial support from more than 100,000 Americans in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org
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