(5 ILCS 315/6.5)
Defense to liability.
(a) The General Assembly declares that public employees who paid agency or fair share fees as a condition of public employment in accordance with State laws and United States Supreme Court precedent prior to June 27, 2018 had no legitimate expectation of receiving that money back under any then available cause of action. Public employers and labor organizations who relied on State law and Supreme Court precedent in deducting and accepting those fees were not liable to refund them. Agency or fair share fees were paid for collective bargaining representation that employee organizations were obligated by State law to provide to employees. Additionally, it should be presumed that employees who signed written membership or dues authorization agreements prior to this time knew and freely accepted the contractual obligations set forth in those agreements. Application of this Section to claims pending on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly will preserve, rather than interfere with, important reliance interests. This Section is therefore necessary to provide certainty to public employers and labor organizations that relied on State law and to avoid disruption of public employee labor relations after the United States Supreme Court's decision in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018).
(b) No public employer or labor organization, or any of its employees or agents, shall be liable for, and they shall have a complete defense to, any claims or actions under the laws of this State for requiring, deducting, receiving, or retaining dues, agency fees, or fair share fees from public employees, and current or former public employees shall not have standing to pursue these claims or actions if the dues or fees were permitted under the laws of this State then in force and paid, through payroll deduction or otherwise, prior to June 27, 2018.
(c) This Section shall apply to claims and actions pending on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, as well to claims and actions on or after that date.
(d) This Section is a declaration of existing law and shall not be construed as a new enactment.
(Source: P.A. 101-620, eff. 12-20-19.)