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SUPREME COURT DECISION RESULTS IN WAVE OF LAWSUITS AGAINST UNIONS

A dozen or more lawsuits have been filed against various state and local government unions across the country in light of the Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case, seeking refunds of union dues and fees employees were forced to pay to keep their jobs.  In at least one of the cases, the union defendant conceded the issue and refunded the involuntary dues and fees.  Another pending case, if successful, might result in refunds of as much as $100 million.  Thus, the Janus decision not only reduces future income to public sector unions, but may result in significant paybacks to those forced to participate, at least in situations within the relevant statute of limitations. 

On a related issue, the recent momentum toward "right-to-work laws" has at least taken a temporary halt in one state, Missouri.  Since 2012, six states have become right-to-work, including Michigan and Wisconsin.  However, on August 7, 2018, voters in Missouri repealed their right-to-work law.  Some commentators report that those opposed to Missouri's right-to-work law spent more than five times the amount that proponents did in the campaign leading to the vote, and the Republican governor of Missouri who has supported the legislation did not take part in the campaigning due to his own political problems. 

Many say that right-to-work laws result in reduced votes for Democratic candidates of around 3%, and many former industrial states with large union representation have become more Republican since enacting their right-to-work laws. 


Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider & Stine

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