What does the legislative landscape look like post-Janus?

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay agency fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. Lawmakers nationwide have since taken up legislation in response to Janus. The summary below is a detailed account of legislative activity in the year since the Janus decision came down.

  • 2019 post-Janus activity: As of June 14, 31 state legislatures have considered 101 bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Oregon has had 10 relevant bills introduced this year, more than any other state (none of these have yet been enacted, although two have cleared both chambers of the state legislature). Pennsylvania and Washington have followed close behind with nine and eight bills, respectively.
    • Partisan split: Of the 101 bills introduced nationwide, Democrats have sponsored 51. Republicans have sponsored 38. Bipartisan groups or committees have sponsored the rest.
  • 2018 post-Janus activity: Between June 27, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, the Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania legislatures took up a total of seven bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Pennsylvania had four relevant bills introduced post-Janus in 2018. One relevant bill was introduced in each of the three remaining states during that period.
    • Partisan split: Republicans introduced four of the seven bills. Bipartisan groups or committees sponsored the other three.
  • Bills enacted since Janus: Three bills have been enacted since Janus. These are detailed below. Another five bills introduced this year have cleared state legislatures but have yet to be enacted.
    • Delaware SB8: This bill establishes compensation as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining efforts.
    • Nevada SB135: This bill provides for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Washington HB1575: This bill declared that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus. It repealed statutes requiring employees to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. It also amends dues deduction authorization laws, allowing authorizations to be initiated via electronic, voice, or written communication and requiring authorizations to be discontinued by a written request made to the union.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 101 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map June 14, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 14, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart June 14, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions on relevant bills since the beginning of the year. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state and then by bill number.

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • Read for the first time in Senate and referred to Ways and Means Committee June 10.
  • Nevada SB135: This bill would provide for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Signed into law June 12.
  • New Hampshire SB148: This bill would require public employers to notify hirees of their right to join or refrain from joining. The notification would also include the estimated annual cost of joining a union.
    • Senate concurred in House amendments June 13.
  • Oregon HB2016: This bill would require public employers to grant paid time to employees participating in certain union activities. It would also require employers to furnish unions with access to employees.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Oregon HB3009: This bill would require public employers to provide unions with access to new employees. It would also permit individuals who are not union members to make payments in lieu of dues to unions.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Rhode Island H5259: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters.
    • House Labor Committee recommended passage June 12.
  • Rhode Island S0712: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters. It would require employers to notify unions within five days of hiring new employees. It would also require employees to file written notice with the state controller in order to discontinue dues payroll deductions.
    • Senate approved substitute bill June 11. Referred to House Labor Committee June 12.



About the author

Jerrick Adams

Jerrick Adams is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at jerrick.adams@ballotpedia.org

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