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Supreme Court decision will expand worker freedom by allowing public employees a choice in joining or paying a union.
CONCORD, N.H. – Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of 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 covering 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 New Hampshire, are no longer forced to fund speech with which they disagree.
AFP-NH State Director Greg Moore issued the following statement:
“No worker should be compelled to fork over a portion of their hard-earned paycheck to subsidize political speech in order to keep their job. Today’s Supreme Court decision replaces this longstanding coercive status quo with individual freedom and reaffirms every public employee’s First Amendment rights. We applaud the Supreme Court for empowering workers across the country, and especially right here in New Hampshire, with more freedom. AFP-NH will continue to fight to expand the free speech rights of every Granite Stater.
“This issue is especially important to me. As a former Director in the Department of Health and Human Services when the state implemented agency fees in 2006, it was extremely frustrating to sit across the desk from employees and explain to them that the state was taking money out of their paycheck to pay for a union they didn’t support or agree with. After today’s ruling, no government worker will be forced to have their wages taken from them to pay for unions they don’t want to be a part of.”
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.
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 affects public policy issues like pension liabilities, taxes, spending, and more that bargaining equates to lobbying and political speech.
Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire has been at the forefront of advocating for worker freedom, through passing Right to Work legislation. The group recently launched an accountability campaign that educates Granite Staters on their lawmakers voting record on Right to Work.