A new guidebook from the Empire Center for Public Policy will help public employers talk to their workers about how they’re affected by the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, the Center announced today.
The manual, written by respected labor attorney Jim Roemer, explains that public employers can and should share factual information with their employees about their rights under state collective-bargaining law, also known as the Taylor Law.
The Janus ruling ended New York’s 41-year practice of forcing public employees to pay a union in order to keep their jobs. Most public employees now paying union dues consented to the payments believing they’d have to pay one way or the other, and few are aware that contracts negotiated by a union apply to them regardless of whether they consent to joining that union.
“The Taylor Law is unique because it’s a law people are afraid to discuss for fear of violating it,” said Tim Hoefer, the Empire Center’s executive director. “Even before Janus, public employees were often confused about how the law affects them, but government officials have an ethical obligation to make sure they know their rights. We created this guide to make those conversations easier.”
The “Dues and Don’ts” guidebook, a short orientation video for new employees and downloadable employer resources can all be found at www.DuesAndDonts.org.
The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.