Can Pay Fair Share Fees Cost You Your Job?

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Can refusing to pay fair share fees cost you your job? A recent United States Supreme Court decision says that it can. We are all familiar with the narrative of corporation versus labor union, but this Supreme Court case sheds a light on a less well-known opponent of unions: non-union employees. On Tuesday, March 29, the Supreme Court reached a 4-4 vote in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a major labor case on union funding. This tie vote upholds the legality of fair share fees and allows unions to maintain the system they use to collect funds that support collective bargaining and obtaining benefits for workers. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association raises several interesting questions for both employers and employees. As an employee, should you have the right not to pay fair share fees even if you benefit from the union’s collective bargaining negotiations? As an employer, what is your responsibility to both your union and non-union employees? Can workers obtain union benefits without fees? As you may know, collective bargaining is the negotiation between union leaders and the company’s management that sets out the terms of employment such as working conditions, base pay, overtime, work hours, and benefits. By law, collective bargaining benefits all workers whether they are in the union or not and non-members receive the same wages and benefits that are enjoyed by union members. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), workers are afforded the
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