Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Lambda Legal, joined by the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, and PFLAG, filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a challenge to unions’ ability to collect “fair share” fees from workers who, while not themselves part of the union, nevertheless benefit from union representation.
The lawsuit is widely recognized as an effort to defund and cripple public-sector unions. Because of the crucial role unions have played in establishing anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and others, Lambda Legal is urging the Court to preserve the unions’ right to collect these fees.
As explained in Lambda Legal’s brief, public sector unions provided among the earliest protections anywhere in the U.S. to LGBT people. Resolutions and contracts including nondiscrimination clauses for sexual orientation date back to the early 1970s. Unions were also in the vanguard of negotiating the extension of health and pension benefits to same-sex partners of public employees and their families, and conducted important public health education campaigns.
- January 19, 2018: Lambda Legal, Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, and PFLAG file amicus brief.
- February 26, 2018: Oral agruments.
- June 27, 2018: Court holds that union fees violate "the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern."