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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

Employment Law Commentaries

Resolution No. 58
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

The NLRB, the federal courts, and the United States Supreme Court have been publishing a series of anti-worker, anti-public employee decisions throughout the Bush II administration; and

These decisions include - Garcetti v. Ceballos, which found that when public employees make statements as part of their official duties, they are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate them from employer discipline; Chamber of Commerce v. Brown, in which the Supreme Court ruled that federal labor law bars a state from curbing the rights of employers to speak out about labor union organizing by their workers, after a California law imposed limits on employer speech (but the Court did not address when those employers keep a “captive audience” listening to anti-union directives); and Engquist v. Oregon Department of Agriculture, which found both that government has significant leeway in its dealings with its employees and that government employees do not have a unique “class of one” status that protects them from firings for arbitrary, vindictive, and malicious reasons; and

It is important for council leadership and local leadership to be aware of, and to be informed of, the impact of these decisions in order to better inform their members; and

Except for very general and legal - and well-meaning - web blogs like Workplace Prof Blog, PrawfsBlawg, Employment Law Memo and Adjunct Law Prof Blog, there is no source of analysis and commentary on court decisions from a union or labor perspective written for an audience of union members.

That labor attorneys and/or analysts from AFSCME International publish regular commentaries following court decisions affecting employment law and public service employees specifically on “Greenline,” the AFSCME web blog, in language that is accessible to the common membership and in a format that will allow for easy dissemination to interested members.

SUBMITTED BY: Jean Diederich, President and Delegate
Rita Salone, Recording Secretary
AFSCME Local 34, Council 5