After Janus, NRTW petitions SCOTUS to hear case targeting union dues

  • July 2, 2018

After Janus, NRTW petitions SCOTUS to hear case targeting union dues

Labor Law

Now that SCOTUS has finally dropped the Janus decision, more litigation is underway.

The National Right to Work Foundation asked the Supreme Court to hear a case that could financially weaken unions by allowing workers to quit them at a faster pace.

In a petition sent last Thursday, the group asked the high court to weigh in on the question of “window periods” — specified dates when workers can opt out of paying union dues. Two Michigan grocers asked their union, United Food & Commercial Workers, to stop automatically deducting dues from their paychecks but did not do so during a specified 15-day window or send in the required certified mail. The plaintiffs argue such restrictions are a violation of federal labor law.

The Sixth Circuit dismissed the case in February, saying the plaintiffs had failed to prove the union acted in “bad faith” and was simply holding itself to the contract signed by their members.

The petition comes on the heel of the Supreme Court’s decision last week in Janus v. AFSCME, which says public sector workers are not obligated to pay non-member fees to a union. Critics warn the decision creates a “free rider” problem, in which workers will leave their union so they can receive the benefits of collective bargaining without having to pay any fees.