Will the Supreme Court Support or Block Development of a Modern Collective Bargaining System for Homecare Workers? – A White Paper on Harris v. Quinn

Source: Thomas A. Kochan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, December 10, 2013

From the summary:
The case of Harris v Quinn that is before the Supreme Court will affect the future of collective bargaining in the public sector in two respects:

1. The Court will decide whether consumer-directed homecare workers who are employed within state programs and paid by the state for their services can be considered part of the state’s workforce, covered by the state’s collective bargaining laws.

2. The Court may decide to address the legality of agency shop rules, and even the legality of exclusive representation, affirmed in the 1976 Abood decision. Their decision on this issue could be limited to home health care workers or other “non-traditional” employment relationships, or it could possibly be extended to affect all public employees covered under collective bargaining contracts. The Right-To-Work Foundation’s attorneys, representing the plaintiffs, have argued for reversing Abood in all these respects.

It is unclear how broad an approach the Court will take. Its decision could certainly have substantial effects on homecare workers in particular and perhaps on the future of public sector collective bargaining.