The United States Supreme Court has refused to rehear Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association et al., in which the Court had issued a 4-4 opinion in April. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915 (Mar. 29, 2016). Friedrichs  sought to overrule, on First Amendment grounds, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a 1977 Supreme Court decision  allowing public sector unions to require members and non-members to pay agency service fees (also known by the euphemism “fair share payment”), as long as workers are not forced to pay a portion of the fees that covers political or ideological activities.

The tie vote resulted in affirmance of the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling in favor of the defendants and permitting required payment of agency service fees for nonmembers in the public sector. The plaintiffs had argued that their First Amendment rights were violated when the government, through a collective bargaining agreement, required the employees to pay an agency fee to a union whose views they did not necessarily wholly share. (Agency fees are similar in amount to the dues paid by union members.) The tie vote came about after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who was expected to vote to overturn Abood. The Court’s decision in Friedrichs, however, is not precedential, and the Court may revisit the issue when it again has nine justices.

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Photo of Howard M. Bloom Howard M. Bloom

Howard M. Bloom is a Principal in the Boston, Massachusetts, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has practiced labor and employment law representing exclusively employers for more than 36 years.

Mr. Bloom counsels clients in a variety of industries on labor law issues. He trains and advises executives, managers and supervisors on union awareness and positive employee relations, and assists employers in connection with union card-signing efforts, traditional union representation and corporate campaigns, and union decertification campaigns. He also represents clients at the National Labor Relations Board in connection with bargaining unit issues, objections and challenges, as well as unfair labor practice investigations and trials. Mr. Bloom also has been the spokesperson at countless first and successor contract collective bargaining negotiations, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreement administration issues, including grievance/arbitration issues.

Mr. Bloom has appeared before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, several U.S. District Courts, the National Labor Relations Board, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Mr. Bloom speaks frequently to employer groups on a wide range of labor and employment law topics. He also has written extensively on labor and employment law for a variety of publications, including New England Business magazine, The Boston Globe and the Boston Business Journal. He also is editor of and a frequent contributor to the Jackson Lewis Labor & Collective Bargaining Blog.

While attending law school, he was the Executive Editor of The Advocate: the Suffolk University Law School Journal and President of the Student Bar Association.

Mr. Bloom is a diehard baseball fan. His first book, The Baseball Uncyclopedia: A Highly Opinionated Myth-Busting Guide to the Great American Game, was published in February 2006.

Photo of Philip B. Rosen Philip B. Rosen

Philip B. Rosen is a Principal in the New York City office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a member of the Firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Rosen also leads the firm’s Labor Practice Group. He joined the Firm in 1979 and served as Managing Partner of the New York City office from 1989 to 2009.

Mr. Rosen lectures extensively, conducts management training, and advises clients with respect to legislative and regulatory initiatives, corporate strategies, business ethics, social media, reorganizations and reductions-in-force, purchase/sale transactions, sexual harassment and other workplace conduct rules, compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, wrongful discharge and other workplace litigation, corporate campaigns and union organizing matters, collective bargaining, arbitration and National Labor Relations Board proceedings. He has been quoted by the press on many labor matters, including the National Labor Relations Board’s recent initiatives on protected concerted activity and the proposed Notice Posting requirements.