Janus ruling changes union enrollment process
A recent Supreme Court ruling reverses the way public employees now join unions.
Pat Hughes, attorney for Mark Janus and co-founder of Liberty Justice Center (LJC), said the 5-4 ruling in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employee (AFSCME) indicates that post-Janus public employees will have to opt-in to the union instead of being automatically enrolled.
"Before, they would automatically begin deducting dues when you became an employee where there was a union," Hughes said. "You had to physically go and opt-out of that."
Public employees must now tell the union they want to join, he said.
"You have to take the action to do that now, post-Janus," Hughes said.
The July 27 decision overturned a 41-year-old precedent from the case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. The 1977 judgment declared that unions could force nonmembers to pay fees in exchange for apolitical services like collective bargaining because non-union employees benefit from those actions.
Illinois has one of the highest union membership rates in the United States, with more than 870,000 employees belonging to unions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. About half are public sector employees and about 75,000 belong to AFSCME.