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Ivan Schraeder

 

For 40 years, Ivan Schraeder has provided collective bargaining, employment law counsel, and litigation defense for dozens of local governments throughout Missouri and Illinois, and serves as general counsel for the Missouri Public Employers' Labor Relations Association. He previously served as the Missouri Director of Labor Relations, where he was responsible for all labor relations policies for the state's executive branch. Mr. Schraeder also teaches labor and employment law for the Missouri Bar Association, the Missouri Municipal Attorneys' Association, and the Missouri School Boards' Association, in addition to a variety of legal organizations, universities, public sector entities, public employer associations, and police academies in Missouri and Illinois.

  

 

 

 

The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group is a nationally recognized practice in the areas of ERISA and employee benefits, estate planning, employment, labor and human resources and investment management.

 

Established in 1996, The Wagner Law Group is dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, excellence and thought leadership and is considered to be amongst the nation's premier ERISA and employee benefits law firms. The firm has eight offices across the country, providing unparalleled legal advice to its clients, including large, small and nonprofit corporations as well as individuals and government entities worldwide. The Wagner Law Group's 33 attorneys, senior benefits consultant and seven paralegals combine many years of experience in their fields of practice with a variety of backgrounds. Nine of the attorneys are AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and six are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, an invitation-only organization of nationally recognized employee benefits lawyers.  Five of the firm's attorneys have been named to the prestigious Super Lawyers list for 2017, which highlights outstanding lawyers based on a rigorous selection process. The Wagner Law Group is certified as a woman-owned and operated business by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Contact Info

The Wagner Law Group

 

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June 29, 2018

 

Law Alert

 

What the Supreme Court's Decision in

Janus v. AFSCME Council 31

Means for Millions of Government Employees

 

 

 



The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31. This case determined that forced payment of dues or fees by public employees to their collective bargaining representative is a violation of the public employees' First Amendment right to free speech. The impact of this decision is that NO public employer can legally negotiate a mandatory dues or fees payment to be taken involuntarily from public employees to be paid to the bargaining agent as a condition of employment. Only voluntary acts by employees are permitted if carefully drafted. There are more principles in this 5 to 4 court decision, but this is the primary take away. Any public entity that has a mandatory membership or fee provision in a contract needs to remove such provisions from the collective bargaining agreements and policies immediately.

This case arose when a public employee in an AFSCME state bargaining unit did not want to pay an "agency fee" to the union for collective bargaining representation. Illinois public employee labor law authorized the fee to be charged as a part of a union contract. Until this case was decided, Abood v. Detroit Bd. Of Educ, 431 U. S. 209 (1977) was the controlling precedent. The Abood case allowed for agency fees to be charged without approval by a public employee when a public employee did not want to be a member of the union. It was an authorized service fee.

The focus of the Janus was on the mandated payment of moneys to the union that interfered with the public employee's free speech. The Court referenced the principle that forced associations that burden protected speech are impermissible. The Court stated "compelling a person to subsidize the speech of other private speakers raises similar First Amendment concerns."

In response to the union's position that the agency fee arrangement prevents "free riders," the Court stated that "avoiding free riders is not a compelling interest" that can override an individual's First Amendment rights.

All public employers need to review their collective bargaining agreements for the purpose of removing any mandated payments from being extracted from a public employee's paycheck without the employee's specific consent. The better means of consent is to have a public employee periodically sign payroll withholding forms if any payment it to be withheld. Without such consent, the public employer is at risk of violating a constitutional right and should not withhold such payments for the exclusive bargaining agent.

 

The analysis provided by Ivan Schraeder in this law alert has already been shared amongst all of Missouri's municipalities. Please contact Ivan via email  if you have any questions.

 

 

 

This Newsletter is protected by copyright. Material appearing herein may be reproduced with appropriate credit.

 

This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.