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Unions and Right-To-Work Employment Post-Janus Decision: Implications for Public and Private Employers

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will discuss the eagerly-awaited Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which held that the First Amendment prohibits forcing public-sector employees to pay union “fair share” fees absent the employees' consent. Our panel will discuss how this decision overturns 41-year-old precedent and the impact it is likely have on organized labor and right-to-work employment.


The long-awaited Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME confirmed that the First Amendment protects employees from being forced to contribute to a cause they do not support. The Court's decision prohibited forcing employees to pay an “agency fee” regardless of whether they exercised their right to join a union.

The immediate impact of the Janus decision will be felt amongst police officers, teachers, firefighters and other public employees. They are now free to refrain from joining a union and from paying agency fees (“fair share” fees) to support a union they did not join.

Janus’ impact may stretch into the private sector as well if, as expected, public unions lose agency fees and membership, A reduced union footprint and kitty of campaign cash may mean they will be ill-equipped to fight the ongoing battle against right-to-work laws. Currently, a majority of states—28 of 50—are “right-to-work” states, meaning they have laws that prohibit agreements requiring membership in a union as a condition of employment.

The expansive reading of the First Amendment and its strictures against government-compelled speech may ripple through the private sector in other important ways. The NLRB’s historical and solicitous grant of speech rights to unions and union supporters at the expense of employers may be forced to yield. For example, longstanding NLRB precedent holding employers must permit union buttons on employer provided uniforms worn by employees who have contact with the public may now be in jeopardy. Similarly, NLRB attacks on civility codes may be blunted by Janus. The NLRB-imposed requirement that employers must permit unions and their supporters to use employer equipment such as bulletin boards and internal social media sites may also fall due to Janus.

Listen as our distinguished panel discusses the Janus ruling and its implications for both unions and employers. Our panelists will also provide best practices for employers for dealing with unions and unionization and negotiating union-provided benefits with employees.



  1. Overview of the facts and procedure leading up to the Janus decision
  2. Discussion of how the Janus ruling will impact both unions and employers
  3. Explanation of how Janus impacts private employers
  4. Best practices for employers in dealing with unions and unionization and negotiating union-provided benefits with employees


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What was the Supreme Court’s ruling in Janus v. AFSCME?
  • How does the Janus ruling interact with the Supreme Court’s earlier Epic Systems decision?
  • How will the Janus ruling affect public and private employers?
  • What are the best practices for employers in changing or renegotiating employee policies in light of the Janus and Epic Systems rulings?


Darch, Douglas
Douglas Darch

Baker & McKenzie

Mr. Darch represents and counsels client in the areas of Labor and Employment law. His experience includes...  |  Read More

Jeter, S. Leigh
S. Leigh Jeter

Founder and Principal Attorney
Jeter Law Office

Ms. Jeter represents and counsels public and private sector employers in labor and employment matters, including claims...  |  Read More

Kearnaghan, Jason
Jason W. Kearnaghan

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Mr. Kearnaghan represents employers in state and federal courts with respect to all facets of employment law including...  |  Read More

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