PDFRCW 4.24.495

Liability of public employers for deducting or receiving agency or fair share fees from public employeesFindings and declarationDefinitions.

(1) The legislature finds and declares application of this section to pending claims and actions clarifies existing state law rather than changes it. Public employees who paid agency or fair share fees as a condition of public employment in accordance with state law and supreme court precedent before June 27, 2018, had no legitimate expectation of receiving that money under any available cause of action. Public employers and employee organizations who relied on, and abided by, state law and supreme court precedent in deducting and accepting those fees were not liable to refund them. Agency or fair share fees paid for collective bargaining representation that employee organizations were obligated by state law to provide to public employees. Application of this section to pending claims will preserve, rather than interfere with, important reliance interests.
(2) Public employers and an employee organization, or any of their employees or agents, are not liable for, and have a complete defense to, any claims or actions under the law of this state for requiring, deducting, receiving, or retaining agency or fair share fees from public employees, and current or former public employees do not have standing to pursue these claims or actions, if the fees were permitted at the time under the laws of this state then in force and paid, through payroll deduction or otherwise, before June 27, 2018.
(a) This section applies to all claims and actions pending on July 28, 2019, and to claims and actions filed on or after July 28, 2019.
(b) This section may not be interpreted to infer that any relief made unavailable by this section would otherwise be available.
(3) This section is necessary to provide certainty to public employers and employee organizations that relied on state law, and to avoid disruption of public employee labor relations, after the supreme court's decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 (2018) 138 S.Ct. 2448.
(4) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Employee organization" means any organization that functioned as an exclusive collective bargaining representative for public employees under any statute, ordinance, regulation, or other state or local law, and any labor organization with which it was affiliated.
(b) "Public employer" means any public employer including, but not limited to, the state, a court, a city, a county, a city and county, a school district, a community college district, an institution of higher education and its board or regents, a transit district, any public authority, any public agency, any other political subdivision or public corporation, or any other entity considered a public employer for purposes of the labor relations statutes of Washington.
[ 2019 c 230 s 1.]