June 11, 2018
Mark Janus, an Illinois child welfare worker, decided not to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees -- the union that represents his public sector co-workers. Under Illinois law, however, Janus is still required to pay fees to the union. These fees are known as “fair-share” fees, a label which refers to the Illinois law requiring the union to “fairly” represent Janus and all of his co-workers, whether or not they are union members. For this representation, non-union members like Janus must pay a “fair-share” fee,” which is approximately 78 percent of the full union dues, and in Janus’ case, amounts to $23.48 per pay period.
Janus has objected to the payment of this fee, and his case has reached the United States Supreme Court. A ruling by the Court in Janus v. AFSCME will be released very soon, and that ruling is expected to strike down the Illinois “fair share” law and similar state laws (including the law in New York) because they violate the United States Constitution.