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Florida Judge Sides Against State in Pension Case

A Florida circuit court ruled last week that Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Republican legislative leaders' decision last year to cut public employee salaries to offset the state's contribution to their pension fund was an unconstitutional breach of contract. "The 2011 Legislature, when...

Election Day Turnaround for Unions

Less than two years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) announced plans to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights as a means of shoring up the state budget, touching off a wave of efforts across the country aimed at curbing union power. Unions have lost most of those battles...

State Pensions Could Be 61 Percent Underfunded

States have only 39 percent of the assets they need to cover their public employee pension obligations, according to an estimate from State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan, non-profit, national public policy organization. That estimate is based on an annual investment return of 3.2 percent (the 15-year...

SCOTUS on Public Employee Free Speech

We're coming down the home stretch of another SCOTUS season. We still have a few labor and employment law cases left ( Noel Canning and Harris v. Quinn ) - we should have decisions in the next week or two. Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lane v. Franks [ enhanced opinion available...

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of First Amendment Protections For Public Employees

In Lane v. Franks et al ., the Supreme Court unanimously held today that when a public employee testifies truthfully outside of the scope of ordinary job duties, he or she testifies as a private citizen and not as a public employee for purposes of First Amendment protections [lexis.com subscribers may...

Supreme Court Announces New Incursions into Public-Sector Union Security

On the last day of the current term, a divided Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment limits the ability of public-sector unions to capture so-called "fair share" fees. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion which held that in-home care workers who did not wish to join a union could not...

Split US Supreme Court: Partial Public Employees Can’t Be Required To Pay Union Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A class of in-home care providers, classified as “partial public employees,” who do not wish to join or support a union cannot be required to pay an agency fee, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning ( Pamela Harris, et al. v. Pat Quinn, Governor...

Wisconsin Supreme Court Backs Walker, Upholds Anti-Union Law

The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a controversial 2011 law championed by Gov. Scott Walker (R) that essentially bars collective bargaining for public employee unions. Unions had challenged the law, calling it unconstitutional. But by a 5-2 decision, the state's high court disagreed. As reported...

Illinois Governor Imposes Right-to-Work For Public Employees

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) issued an executive order last week absolving public employees who decline to join a union from having to pay fees that support union activities like collective bargaining. State law currently allows state workers to opt out of joining a union but they still have to pay...

State Net Capitol Journal: State Worker Exodus

by Korey Clark In 2002 the Council of State Governments and the National Association of State Personnel Executives issued a report entitled “State Employee Worker Shortages: The Impending Crisis,” which referenced estimates showing “state governments could lose more than 30 percent...

If You Work For a Federal Contractor, You Have More Rights Than You Thought You Did. Thanks, Obama!

President Obama has been firing up his mighty pen and issuing Executive Orders left and right. Well, left anyhow. Some of those orders may benefit you. If you work for a company that does business with or gets money from the Federal government, you probably have more rights than you thought you did....