In Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision that stated forcing employees to pay union fees in the public sector violates the First Amendment right to free speech.
New proposed legislation in Connecticut, an Act Concerning the Right Of A Public Employee to Join or Support a Union, is seen as a direct push-back on the Janus decision.
The bill would give organized labor access to public sector employees’ personal contact information, use public buildings for employee meetings, give union representatives the right to meet with new employees during their initial orientation, and make dues payments a matter of state law. This last element would require workers who resigned union membership to pay dues for a set period of time.
The bill would also bar the state from sharing public employee information with outside organizations seeking to inform those employees about their right to resign union membership.
This very bill was passed by the Connecticut House in 2019 but was not taken up by the State Senate. It appears the Senate is willing to take the bill up this year.
The bill is being strongly opposed by the Council of Small Towns, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), the Council of Small Towns, and the Connecticut Airport Authority.
According to CCM:
The proposed changes outlined in these bills represent a fundamental shift in functions and operations that have traditionally been the responsibility of management. They would infringe on the autonomy of municipal employers to efficiently manage their operations and employees. Additionally, these proposals would place municipal employers in precarious and potentially compromising positions.
Will this bill make it into law? Hard to tell.
But you can be sure we will stay on top of it and report back as we learn more.
If you’re an employer and have questions about labor and employment law, consider calling on the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Connecticut. We do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys has over 25 years of experience in employment law and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please contact us if we can help you.
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