In Wake of Janus Ruling by U.S. Supreme Court, Attorney General Becerra Issues Guidance on Public Sector Workers’ Rights

Friday, August 31, 2018
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SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued guidance reaffirming California public employees’ rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. Council 31. The court decision overturned past court rulings that permitted unions to collect “agency fees” from bargaining-unit members who do not choose to join the union.

“While I adamantly disagree with the Court’s decision, here in California, our state’s strong labor laws remain unaffected,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Critically, California public employees still have the right to unionize and remain protected from employer retaliation against union activities. We are confident that these hardworking Californians will continue to be the backbone of our state and our nation.”

This guidance highlights existing state laws that protect collective bargaining and strengthen public employees’ rights to form, join, and engage in the activities of their union.  It also reminds Californians that public employers are prohibited under state law from retaliating, discriminating against, or threatening public employees for exercising their rights to engage in collective action. The guidance further notifies public employees of resources that are available to them if they believe that their labor rights have been violated.

Earlier this year, Attorney General Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Janus case that argued in favor of agency fees as an integral part of California’s collective-bargaining system.  In the brief, the Attorney General described the critical role public employees play in strengthening the economy and our communities.

To read Attorney General Becerra’s commentary to the San Diego Union Tribune regarding this case visit:

A copy of the guidance is attached to the electronic version of this release here.

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