Under state laws permitting these arrangements, those employees who choose not to join a union are compelled to pay a service fee to finance union collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance adjustment expenditures.
The court has agreed to take up - again - a case involving a California dealership that claims those advisers are similar to salesmen or mechanics, and therefore exempt from overtime requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Public sector employees' union membership averages 17 percent in states that ban mandatory fees compared with 49 percent in states, such as OR, that allow mandatory fees, according to the research by the social scientists who wrote in support of the California Teachers Association. Last year, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association - a case virtually identical to Janus - the Court came to a 4-4 stalemate, robbed of its deciding vote by Antonin Scalia's death.
The United States Supreme Court starts its new 2017 term on Monday, and significant cases are coming into focus as the Justices consider gerrymandering, religious freedom, voter registration, public unions, and cellphone privacy as issues.
The court will also take on another high profile case involving gerrymandering in Wisconsin, which has been brought on by Democrats who say the way the lines are now drawn ensures they can't win.
Court observers expect a decision sometime before the court adjourns in June 2018. The court ruled that only states have the power to enact laws prohibiting mandatory union participation. The latest appeal is from a state employee in IL.
An Illinois government employee and the state's largest union for public workers were pushed to the forefront of a nationwide fight for the future of labor and political influence when the U.S. Supreme Court announced the addition of Janus v.
Janus involves a challenge to "fair share" fees-money collected by unions in order to negotiate a contract that applies to all employees, regardless of their union status.
The Supreme Court has three times in the past four years considered whether members of public employee unions must pay dues.
The other 28 states that have "right-to-work" laws that make all union dues voluntary have lower participation rates, according to research by a group of social scientists who support labor unions and filed an amicus brief against another "right-to-work" case a year ago.
The lawsuit argues that mandatory union fees in the public sector are a violation of the first amendment. They argued the governor didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit because he didn't have to pay union dues or fees.
Among the parties that brought the legal action is the William Penn School District in Delaware County.
"We're obviously very pleased with the news", Patrick Semmens, vice president for public information at the National Right to Work Foundation, told Bloomberg BNA shortly after the high court granted certiorari in the case.
"There's no way for workers to actually ensure that money isn't going to prohibited political activities", he said. The public sector workforce was 34.4 percent unionized; the private sector unionization rate was 6.4 percent.
Congressional Republicans have also introduced a bill aimed at making union dues and fees optional for all workers.