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Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

Court Type: U.S. Supreme Court
Status: Closed (Judgment)
Last Update: November 16, 2015

What's at Stake

Whether public employee unions can be authorized by state law to collect a fee from non-members for the cost of negotiating and implementing a collective bargaining agreement that benefits all employees.


In 1977, the Supreme Court ruled that public employees who choose not to join a certified union can be charged an “agency fee” calculated to cover the cost of negotiating and implementing the collective bargaining agreement. Such arrangements, the Court held, do not violate the First Amendment so long as other unrelated expenses – including political expenditures – are not included in the agency fee. Joining 70 other civil rights organizations, the ACLU urges the Court to reaffirm that holding in a brief that highlights how the current rule has helped promote professional and economic opportunities for women, people of color, and LGBT workers, among others.

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