Magazine article Academe

Harris V. Quinn Decision

Magazine article Academe

Harris V. Quinn Decision

Article excerpt

In late June, the uS Supreme Court issued a much anticipated deci- sion in Harris v. Quinn, a case in which the plaintiffs requested that the court rule unconstitutional the charging of agency fees in the pub- lic sector. Agency fees, also known as fair share, are fees charged by unions to all bargaining unit mem- bers (including those who choose not to join the union) to pay for expenses that arise out of a union's representation activities.

While the court stopped short of altering agency fee jurisprudence for all public sector workers, the five-to-four opinion issued by Justice Alito questioned the thirty- five-year legacy of Abood v. detroit Board of Education, in which the court had backed the constitution- ality of agency fees.

In its decision in Harris, the court ruled that agency fees could not be imposed on certain "partial-public" employees, a category that has little applicabil- ity to faculty members at public institutions. …

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