SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Jan. 19 that he has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a U.S. Supreme Court case about public employees paying fees for representation during collective bargaining.

The case—Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31—focuses on whether public employees should pay mandatory fees during collective bargaining. Becerra believes they should.

“Our public employees -- whether teachers, firefighters, peace officers, nurses -- provide critical services to Californians,” Becerra said in a statement. “We all benefit from their professional services.”

Becerra noted that public employees can all benefit from union representation, even if they do not try to join the union. According to Becerra, unions hold significant sway in ensuring fair wages and other protections for all public employees.

“Through collective bargaining, unions negotiate fair wages, workplace safety, pensions, paid sick days, health care services and other important protections on behalf of these employees,” Becerra said. “Everyone who benefits from representation should share the cost. The fees at issue in Janus play an integral role in supporting state workplaces all across the country.”

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