by Jacob Huebert
Sept. 27, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce this week whether it will hear a landmark labor case, Janus v. AFSCME. At the heart of the case is this question: Should government workers be forced to pay money to a union as a condition of their employment?
Plaintiff Mark Janus is a child-support specialist at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He is suing because he believes workers deserve the right to decide for themselves whom to support financially. Opposing him is the most powerful government-worker union in Illinois, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31. AFSCME says that if this is the job Janus wants to do, it is owed a cut of his paychecks.
Janus is caught in an unfair predicament, and he’s not alone. It’s estimated that at least 5.5 million government workers in 22 states are forced to pay money to unions just to keep their jobs.