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Union Defense Tested in Fee Clawback Cases

Nov. 20, 2019, 11:55 AM

A public sector union defense against nonmember fee clawback lawsuits—that the unions followed existing rules in good faith before the U.S. Supreme Court changed them—passed its first appellate court test this month. A series of pending cases could determine whether that defense will hold up.

Loaded Queue: Six appellate courts have cases teed up to weigh Janus v. AFSCME-based claims for fee refunds against unions’ good-faith defense, including three scheduled for oral argument next month.

Bankruptcy Defense: The good-faith argument, which courts have unanimously endorsed, protects public sector unions from liability for previously collected fees that would “literally bankrupt” ...