Imagine having to pay a middleman in order to go to work. Pay up – or find another job. 

That was the reality for more than 5 million government workers in 22 states, including Illinois, Minnesota, New York and California. Teachers, child support specialists, prison workers, police, firefighters and other government employees were forced to pay money to highly political government unions in order to pursue careers in public service. 

This was wrong and a gross violation of government workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

That’s what the U.S. Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME, was all about. On June 27, 2018, the court ruled that every government worker should be able to choose for himself or herself which organizations to support with his or her hard-earned money.  

The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, was a child-support specialist for the State of Illinois and was forced to pay thousands of dollars to a union just to be allowed to do the work he loves. Learn more about Mark Janus and his story.

Unfortunately, not all government workers are able to exercise their Janus rights even after the Supreme Court decision. Countless government unions and government employers refuse to abide by the Janus ruling. The Liberty Justice Center is here to help.

Find out more about Janus v. AFSCME and get answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Janus v. AFSCME, Explained | Manhattan Institute

This video was produced by Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, featuring senior fellow Daniel DiSalvo.