Question: Can I be required to be a union member or pay dues to a union?
Answer: If you are a public employee, you cannot be required to be a union member or pay any union dues or fees in any state.
A number of states had passed laws which either required, or authorized public employers and labor unions to negotiate agreements which required, all employees to either join the union or pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.
However, as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v AFSCME, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), a First Amendment lawsuit that was supported by the Foundation and argued and won by Foundation attorneys, public employees cannot be required to join or pay any money to a labor union as a condition of employment.
You may voluntarily choose to join a union or pay union dues or fees, but you cannot be forced to do so by your public employer, either to avoid discharge or through automatic payroll deductions that you have not voluntarily authorized. Moreover, your employer or the union must notify you that you have a First Amendment right not to join or pay union dues or fees before you sign any membership application or dues deduction authorization.
You may visit MyJanusRights.org to learn more about Janus and your rights under it.
If you would like to learn more about your rights as a state or local government employee, click on the appropriate question below:
- Can I be required to be a union member or pay dues to a union?
- How can I resign my union membership and stop paying union dues?
- I am a nonmember but authorized deduction of union fees. How can I stop the deductions?
- How do I cut off the use of my dues for politics and other nonbargaining activities?
- What if I have religious objections to joining or financially supporting a union?
- What if I am a victim of union violence?
- What if I want to work during a strike?