The Janus Decision: the End of Agency and Fair Share Fees

Volume 30, No. 4

In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 decision, held that requiring non-consenting public employees to pay “agency” or “fair share” fees violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This decision is a significant shift, because the Court overruled a 40-yearold decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Ed.,2 which held that agency fees were permissible as long as they did not include costs associated with a union’s political or ideological agenda.

As background, recall that in the public sector, compulsory union membership has always been considered unlawful, and requiring or preventing a citizen from joining any organization, such as a union, is a violation of his/her right to freedom of association under the First Amendment. Thus, a school unit cannot be party to a collective…To continue reading, visit

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