Supreme Court Takes Up Government Employee Union Bans
June 30, 2015
The Supreme Court will consider whether the Constitution bars states from requiring government employees to pay union fees.
• The Supreme Court will consider whether the Constitution bars states from requiring government employees to pay union fees. The lawsuit, brought by Christian Educators Association International and 10 California public school teachers who object to paying union fees, asks the court to overrule a 1977 precedent allowing states to grant that right to public-employee unions. Their argument is that unions effectively engage in political lobbying when they negotiate with school boards and other government agencies over contract terms, amounting to coerced political speech in direct violation of the First Amendment. The Court will hear this case in the next term, which begins in October. [WSJ]
• Millions more Americans who work in excess of 40 hours a week will qualify for overtime pay under a proposed rule the Labor Department is expected to unveil this week. This signature White House initiative is aimed at strengthening the middle class and tackling income inequality. The agency is proposing to raise the salary threshold that generally determines who is eligible for overtime pay to $970 a week, more than doubling the current $455 a week threshold. The new rule would extend overtime protection to about five million workers, hoping to address the erosion of long-standing rules that have left millions working overtime without added compensation. President Obama is expected to discuss the rule Thursday at an event in Wisconsin. [WSJ]
Economic Indicators & News
• China’s shares reversed a recent sharp sell-off as Asian investors push off concerns about a default in Greece until the outcome of a referendum next Sunday. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 5.5% after falling more than 5% earlier. The index is still off 17% from its June 12 high. Despite that, China’s main benchmark is up 14% for the second quarter and has more than doubled over the past year. On Tuesday, officials said they are considering lowering stamp duties on stock purchases, which would encourage buying. The central bank also added more cash into the financial system, following a cut to interest rates over the weekend. [WSJ]