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Labor Unions Under Attack in Florida Legislature


Three separate anti-union bills are under consideration in the Florida legislature, as reported in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

In Florida last week, three state legislators introduced bills addressing labor unions. One would prohibit state and local governments from deducting union dues from employee paychecks, which would add to unions' burdens by forcing them to bill members directly.

Another would require members to recertify, or approve, labor unions each year—a costly and time-consuming process—if fewer than half of the workers they represent have formally joined. Since Florida is a right-to-work state, workers represented by a union aren't required to join a union even if it negotiates on their behalf.

The third would require unions to send each member a reminder of how they can decertify, or fire, the union, along with an account of union spending, including political contributions.

The conventional wisdom among employers is that labor unions are bad for business.  And I believe the conventional wisdom is basically correct.  But I also believe there is a cost to staying union-free.  Employees who are not represented by labor unions are more likely to seek representation from private attorneys in order to challenge their employers' pay practices and personnel decisions.  In other words, I don't think it's a coincidence that: (a) union membership in Florida is only about half of the national average, and (b) Florida is a hotbed for employment-related litigation. Based on the legislation currently pending in Tallahassee, it seems likely that these trends will continue.

 
 
 
 
 

The Florida Employer

Reporting employment and immigration law developments that affect Florida employers.

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Michael W. Casey III, Kevin E. Vance, Mark J. Beutler, and Teresa M. Maestrelli practice labor and employment law, with a particular focus on labor and employment litigation, including Title VII, ADEA, ADA, Florida Civil Rights Act, and whistleblower claims, as well as non-compete litigation, in state and federal trial and appellate courts in Florida and throughout the United States. They also represent employers before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the National Mediation Board (NMB), the U.S. Department of Labor, including the Wage and Hour Division and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and various state and local agencies, as well as in arbitrations, collective-bargaining negotiations and union representation elections. Hector A. Chichoni practices in the area of US and global immigration law. He chairs Duane Morris's Florida Immigration Practice. The editors of Chambers USA 2010 also selected Mr. Chichoni as a "Leader in the Immigration Field." He has represented a vast number of corporate and individual clients throughout his career ranging from premier US health care organizations, Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations and universities to doctors, professors, researchers and students. His international experience includes handling matters relating to export controls and global corporate compliance and business transactions. He has represented clients in a wide variety of cases before the US Immigration Court.
© 2009- Duane Morris LLP. Duane Morris is a registered service mark of Duane Morris LLP.
The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.