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Press Release

Attorney General Shapiro Clarifies the Rights and Responsibilities of Public Sector Employees and Employers Following the Supreme Court’s Janus Decision

August 6, 2018 | Topic: Rights

HARRISBURG — Responding to numerous questions from public sector employees and employers, Attorney General Josh Shapiro today issued guidance on the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 and clarified that the decision makes narrow changes to the rights of employees and obligations of employers.

The recent Janus decision, which was handed down by the Supreme Court in late June, overturns prior precedent that public sector employees who decline union membership may be required, through collective bargaining, to pay a fair share agency fee. It states that non-union workers cannot be required to pay fees to public sector unions who collectively bargain for their wages in the workplace, unless they consent to continue to pay a fee to the union.

“These employees – police and firefighters, teachers, social workers, sanitation workers and many others – play a critical role in communities across our Commonwealth,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “They work hard each and every day to ensure public safety, protect public health, educate our children and provide other critical services to residents of Pennsylvania.”

Under the new ruling, public sector employers may no longer deduct fair share fees from a non-member’s wages without the employee’s consent. Employees who are not union members may still become dues-paying union members or continue to pay a fee to the union, if they choose. All other rights and obligations remain the same.

Please click here to view a Q&A from Attorney General Shapiro on changes following the Supreme Court’s Janus decision.

In February, Attorney General Shapiro and a coalition of 20 other Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of workers’ organizing rights.

“Unions give workers a voice and make government operate more effectively,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I’ll keep fighting for the issues workers care about – from keeping the tips they earn, to protecting them from wage theft, to upholding their right to bargain collectively – which gives them a fairer chance to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

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