Freedom Foundation

Some Public Employers Complying with Janus

In September, the Freedom Foundation published a guide we sent out to all human resource departments around the state of Oregon.

The guide seeks to inform local government officials about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Janus ruling and what it means for them as public employers. Most notably, the guide explains why they shouldn’t be deducting dues from any employee who hasn’t signed a union membership card after the decision came down.

Not surprisingly, most agencies are not complying with the unambiguous requirements of the ruling. Rather, they continue to take dues from whoever the union tells them to.

However, some around the state have ceased the practice of dues deduction for those who have not signed new membership cards.

One school district, whose leaders requested to not be named out of fear of union backlash, demanded the union provide them with copies of employees’ membership cards for inspection. When the union refused, the school district ceased deducting dues from the employees’ wages and has vowed that, until they see evidence these teachers have appropriately signed up for union membership, no dues will be deducted.

The school district isn’t alone. There are various other public agencies statewide following the same procedure by not deducting these dues from anybody post-Janus until they see newly signed membership cards.

This comes after Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority in Janus, emphasized that workers paying union dues or agency fees, by definition, are waiving their First Amendment rights not to. And such a waiver cannot simply be presumed.

The Freedom Foundation works to hold government unions and public agencies accountable to the full scope of the Janus decision and will continue to ensure that all agencies in Oregon are compliant with the law.