Lincolnshire v. Intl. Union of Operating Engineers Local 399

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Employment Law
  • Date Filed: June 10, 2019
  • Case #: 18-1070
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: PER CURIAM.
  • Full Text Opinion

New legislation in Illinois that bars passage of local ordinances prohibiting employers from compelling employees to associate with or fund unions renders the city of Lincolnshire’s argument that 29 U.S.C. § 164(b) extends to the political subdivisions of states moot.

Petitioners created a local ordinance under their home-rule authority which prohibited requirements that private-sector employees join a union, compensate a union, or make payments to third parties in lieu of compensation to a union. Respondents sued Petitioners and moved for summary judgment, claiming that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempted the ordinance. Petitioners argued that 29 U.S.C. § 164(b) allows states to bar compulsory union membership and that their existence as a political subdivision of Illinois permitted use of this provision to justify creation of their ordinance. The district court granted Respondents' motion for summary judgment, holding that 29 U.S.C. § 164(b) does not extend to the political subdivisions of states and that the NLRA thus preempted the local ordinance. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that inclusion of local ordinances under 29 U.S.C. § 164(b) in a state that has not used this section to prohibit such agreements would undermine the NLRA’s goal of uniformity. The Supreme Court granted Petitioners' writ of certiorari and entered a summary disposition order the same day. Without further explanation, the order vacated the Seventh Circuit’s decision while instructing the Circuit to dismiss the case as moot upon remand. PETITION FOR REVIEW GRANTED, JUDGMENT VACATED, AND CASE REMANDED.

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