For decades, “fair share” fees have been justified as a mechanism to help unions cover the costs associated with collective bargaining. In the 1977 case of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that compulsory union dues are unconstitutional, but unions could collect fees necessary to cover costs such as those associated with collective bargaining. Consistent with this notion, “agency shop” laws currently exist in more than twenty states. These laws require members of a unionized profession to have to pay “fair share” or “agency” fees even if they are not members of the union. California is one such state.
In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, Rebecca Friedrichs and nine other California teachers objected to being forced to support the California Teachers Association and challenged the imposition of the associated fees. They have argued that requiring non-union members to pay fair share fees is Continue reading