Prior to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court seemed poised to limit the rights of unions to charge non-union members "agency" or "fair share" fees covering the costs of collective bargaining. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which came before the Court in January, was by all accounts headed for a 5-4 decision against the unions. Now, with Scalia's death, the vote will likely be split – and revert to the lower court's decision.
Labor unions have had a tremendous impact on U.S. workers and workplaces for well over a century. But, it's no secret that unions, in general, are in a bit of trouble these days. And, certain public-sector unions, specifically, could be about to sustain a punishing blow from the U.S. Supreme Court. Let's take a closer look at the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Here's what you need to know.
It's been a long time coming, but the verdict for Young vs. United Parcel Service, Inc. is finally in. And, while the Supreme Court justices rejected both sides' arguments, the result is still potentially great news for women workers and a move in the right direction to beat pregnancy discrimination. The court offered an alternate interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and tossed the case back to the lower courts.
Hot on the heels of the recent Supreme Court decision against Amazon workers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court just upheld the 2007 judgment for $188 million against Wal-Mart Stores, in Braun v. Wal-Mart Stores. The class action suit affects 187,000 workers, who worked for the company between 1998 to 2006, and centers around Michelle Braun and other Wal-Mart employees, who claimed that they were not compensated for working off-the-clock, as well as through meals and breaks.