A Labor Day Reminder
There is still work to do even though public sector employees have been freed from forced unionism through the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation-won Janus decision. Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, and William Messenger, who represented Mark Janus in the Supreme Court, remark on governments’ deliberate disregard for the Janus decision in the Wall Street Journal op ed.
Fourteen months ago the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protects government employees from being forced to subsidize unions. Janus v. Afscme affirmed that some five million state and local workers have the legal right to stop such payments.
Another aspect of Janus, however, has been overshadowed. The decision requires that the government obtain proof that workers voluntarily, knowingly and intelligently waived their First Amendment rights not to subsidize union speech before deducting union dues or fees from their paychecks. “To be effective, the waiver must be freely given and shown by ‘clear and compelling’ evidence,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “Unless employees clearly and affirmatively consent before any money is taken from them, this standard cannot be met.”