First Circuit Rejects UMass Law Professor’s First Amendment Claims Against Union |

For a third time, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has held that a public employee’s First Amendment rights are not infringed when a public employer authorizes a union to serve as the exclusive representative in collective bargaining for employees within that unit.

In the present case, three-judge appellate panel considered an appeal involving a lawsuit filed by Richard J. Peltz-Steele, the chancellor professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth School of Law, who claimed that he was compelled against his will to accept the UMass Faculty Federation, Local 1895, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, as well as his exclusive collective bargaining representative for terms and conditions of his employment. The law professor has declined to join the union or have the union serve as his “‘exclusive bargaining representative.’”

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