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US Supreme Court Delivers Victory for Two Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC Clients: High Court Holds California Law Allowing Unions Onto Growers’ Property Without Compensation is Unlawful

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Employment Law, Firm News, SCOTUS

Today, Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC, along with the Pacific Legal Foundation, secured a major win for its clients and for all agricultural employers in California. In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company, Inc., by declaring that the act of labor unions organizing on the private property of employers constitutes an unconstitutional taking.

Shareholders Howard A. Sagaser and Ian B. Wieland represented Cedar Point Nursery and Fowler Packing Company, Inc. in the underlying ALRB matters as well as the federal case that ultimately came before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1975, California passed a law allowing unions to access employer property 120 days a year for three hours a day. California growers pushed back against this and argued that this regulation amounted to an unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the growers and affirmed the protection that employers’ fundamental property rights are entitled to under the law.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote: “Unlike a mere trespass, the regulation grants a formal entitlement to physically invade the growers’ land. Unlike a law enforcement search, no traditional background principle of property law requires the growers to admit union organizers onto their premises. And unlike standard health and safety inspections, the access regulation is not germane to any benefit provided to agricultural employers or any risk posed to the public.”

Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC is humbled by the decision and is most thankful for the successful outcome for its clients: Fowler Packing Company, Inc., and Cedar Point Nursery.