O’Ban: First Amendment rights of public employees upheld

Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in  Janus v. AFSCME that requiring nonmembers of public-sector unions to pay fees or face termination violates the First Amendment.

“In addition to a upholding the First Amendment rights of public employees, the Supreme Court also made clear unions can no longer presume union membership. Unions must have a public employee’s affirmative authorization before collecting dues or agency fees.

“The Janus ruling almost certainly means that HB 2751 violates the United States Constitution.  HB 2751 was legislation promoted by public-sector unions and enacted earlier this year largely along party lines.  HB 2751 presumes new employees and nonmember employees agree to pay dues and fees to the union. The court’s decision states that employees must ‘clearly and affirmatively consent’ before any money may be taken from them by the union. Based on that reasoning, HB 2751 is unconstitutional.”