consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The upcoming Supreme Court agenda docket.

Reuters, here.

By Lawrence Hurley and Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON | Fri Oct 4, 2013 7:54am EDT

(Reuters) - Workplace disputes pepper the docket of cases the U.S. Supreme Court will take up during a nine-month term starting on Monday, with the justices having delivered a string of victories to businesses and employers in their last term.

Organized labor will feature in two of the cases. In one, an employee seeks to limit the power of public-sector unions to collect dues. In the other, an employee aims to limit the ability of private-sector unions to sign up members.

It would constitute a significant blow to the labor movement were the court, split 5-4 between Republican and Democratic presidential appointees, to rule against the unions in both cases, legal experts say.

During the term that begins October 7 and ends in June, the nine-member court, led by Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts, also will consider President Barack Obama's "recess appointments" to the National Labor Relations Board and take up the issue of whether workers at a steel plant should get paid for the time it takes to change into safety gear.

[...]

Taken together, the two organized labor cases raise significant questions about union power, Harvard University Law School Professor Benjamin Sachs said.

"These are not cases about arcane rules of organizing, rules like where on an employer's property can a union talk to employees," he said. "These are cases that go to the heart of the legal regimes that are necessary to enable unionization."

In one of the union cases, Harris v. Quinn, Pamela Harris, a home-based healthcare worker, sued Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn over a state statute that requires public-sector employees to pay the portion of union dues that do not go to political activities.

Strib, on that Harris case.


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