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Volume XIII, Number 34

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Illinois Governor Issues Executive Order Ending Non-Unionized State Workers’ “Fair Share” Fees

On Feb. 9, newly elected Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order ending a requirement that non-unionized state workers pay “fair share” union dues. Governor Rauner estimates that of the 46,573 state workers covered by collective bargaining, approximately 6,580 are not unionized, but still pay an average of $577 a year in “fair share” dues. In signing the executive order, Governor Rauner stated that “these forced union dues are a critical cog in the corrupt bargaining that is crushing taxpayers.”

A fight is likely brewing between the Republican governor and a coalition of the public unions and the Democratic-led legislature. Democrats hold a supermajority in the legislature, and the executive order could be overridden. The executive order will be battled over in the courts as well, as Governor Rauner has already filed a preemptive federal lawsuit to declare the order legal.

The executive order builds on last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn. In Harris, the Court ruled 5 to 4 that Illinois home health care workers organized by the Service Employees International Union were not true state employees and could not be required to pay union fees. Governor Rauner wants to extend the Harris holding to all state employees.

At this time, Governor Rauner’s executive order impacts only state employees. While it is anticipated that he will ultimately introduce a similar rule for private sector employees, such workers are not included in the current order. The executive order also does not affect those state employees who are voluntarily union members.

© 2023 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 42
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Kenneth J. Yerkes Employment lawyer Barnes Thornburg
Partner

Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department for two decades, Ken Yerkes has spent over 30 years successfully fighting for his clients' rights and business objectives at the bargaining table, in arbitration and federal and state court, as well as in plants across the country through proactive training, counseling and union avoidance campaigns.

Ken's ability to transform complex scenarios into workable strategies has earned him not only his clients' trust, but also acclaim as one of the country’s recognized leaders in labor and employment law. He is a fellow...

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John Koenig, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Atlanta and Indianapolis, Labor and Employment Law Attorney
Partner

John T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a national, full-service practice representing management exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law.

Traditional Labor

Mr. Koenig represents companies in the grievance and arbitration process, collective bargaining, strike preparation, union organizing and election matters, and in unfair labor practice and representational cases before the NLRB. He frequently trains supervisors on effective and...

404-264-4018
David B. Ritter Barnes Thornburg Law Firm Labor and Employment Law Attorney Chicago
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David B. Ritter is a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department and co-chairs the Logistics and Transportation Practice Group. He represents management nationwide in virtually all areas of labor and employment law, including employment discrimination and harassment claims, wage and hour disputes, non-compete, trade secret and restrictive covenants and employment torts.

With nearly 30 years of experience representing public and private companies, Mr. Ritter has...

312-214-4862
William A. Nolan Labor and Employment Law Attorney Barnes Thornburg Law Firm Columbus
Partner

William A. Nolan serves as the Managing Partner of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Columbus, Ohio, office, which he opened in 2009. He is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department. Bill has extensive experience as a litigator, trial lawyer and counselor. His practice includes a broad range of issues that organizations face in our rapidly changing competitive, legal and workplace environments. In short, he works to help management structure organizations, practices and relationships to proactively minimize the business disruption of disputes, and to help clients prevail when...

614-628-1401
Mark Kittaka, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Fort Wayne and Columbus, Labor and Employment Law Attorney
Partner

Mark S. Kittaka is a partner and the administrator of the Labor and Employment Law Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Fort Wayne, Indiana office. Mr. Kittaka’s practice covers all areas of labor and employment law including federal and state litigation concerning discriminatory practices and retaliation claims, including, but not limited to: Title VII race, sex, color, and religious discrimination claims; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, interactive process); Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Family and...

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