Labor Supremes – Michael Droke

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On-farm agriculture operations have been excluded from federal labor law since 1935. California filled this gap by creating its own law in 1975, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (“ALRA”) that gave union organizers the right to physically access the farm property in order to solicit support for unionization. Growers challenged this regulation as a state-sponsored “taking” of their property rights, without the just compensation guaranteed by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed with the growers, holding that the ALRA’s access regulations were a per se violation because they allowed “physical invasion” of the land without compensation. Michael Droke explains the significance of the decision and implications for property rights protection for agriculture. Michael is a senior partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in its Food and Agriculture group. www.scotus.com www.dorsey.com

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