A U.S. District Court judge has ruled federal financial transparency laws apply to certain public-sector unions, traditionally exempt from such regulations.
If it stands, the decision will allow workers across the country to have increased access to records of their unions’ financial dealings.
The case, Alabama Education Association v. Chao, has worked its way up and down the court system for several years. The most recent decision, issued in late March, requires state-level public-sector unions to disclose their finances to the federal government if those unions are affiliated with a national union that must comply with the federal reporting laws.
While the case deals directly with affiliates of the National Education Association, the same principle applies to other public-sector unions, including the American Federation of County, State, and Municipal Employees and Service Employees International Union.