23 Jan 2017

Pro-Right to Work Missouri Workers File Lawsuits Challenging Language of Union Boss-Backed Forced Dues Ballot Measures

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Outgoing Secretary of State approved Big Labor-backed measures hours before leaving office in apparent political kickback

Jefferson City, MO (January 23, 2017) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys three Missouri workers filed legal challenges against ten separate initiative-petitions that could wipe out a potential Missouri Right to Work law and strip away any newly-won Right to Work protections for them and hundreds of thousands of other Missouri workers.

Although statutorily required to draft summary statements to inform petition signers and voters of the effect of the proposed amendments, former Secretary of State Kander’ s midnight actions seem designed to hide from Missouri voters the ballot measures would put in Missouri’s constitution. None of the proposals even mention the Right to Work law that they are designed to render unconstitutional.

With a Right to Work bill likely to pass the Missouri Legislature in the coming weeks, and Governor Eric Greitens pledging to sign the bill into law, union bosses scrambled to put numerous initiative-petitions to kill the law on Big Labor friendly Jason Kander’ s desk for his approval before he left office. Secretary Kander approved all ten just hours before vacating his office. They would appear on the 2018 general election ballot if they obtain a sufficient number of voter’s signatures.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement:

These deliberately misleading initiative petitions are nothing more than an attempt by Big Labor to confuse voters in hope that the confusion will result in overturning popular Right to Work protections.

Missourians should be outraged that outgoing Secretary of State Jason Kander, who was supported by thousands of dollars of forced dues in his recent unsuccessful Senate campaign, granted union bosses this huge political payoff just before stepping out of office. All workers should have the right to get or keep a job without having to pay tribute to a union boss, and those rights should not be put in jeopardy because of a political favor given to union hours before he leaves office.

18 Jan 2017

Foundation Releases Special Notice For Kentucky Workers

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Special Notice Informs Employees of Their Newly-Won Rights

Springfield, VA (January 18, 2017) – Today the National Right to Work Foundation released a Special Legal Notice for workers in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, informing them of their rights under the nation’s most recently passed State Right to Work law. Kentucky’s Right to Work law allows workers to cease being a member of the union and stop paying any dues, fees, or other financial support to an unwanted union.

The Kentucky Right to Work law applies to collective bargaining contracts entered into, extended, or renewed on or after January 7, 2017. If you are subject to a contract in effect before January 7, 2017, you can be compelled to either pay union dues as a union member or fees as a nonmember until that contract expires or is renewed or extended. Even if you are subject to a contract in effect before January 7, 2017, nonmembers have the right to object to a portion of those fees and pay reduced fees until the Right to Work law is effective for you. For more information on the law and the new protections for Kentucky workers, please click here.

18 Jan 2017

Public Employees in Three States File Federal Lawsuits to End Public Sector Forced Union Dues

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National Right to Work Foundation cases follow up on Supreme Court split on constitutionality of mandatory union fees for government employees

Springfield, VA (January 18, 2017) – Government employees – including Pennsylvania teachers, California medical center employees, and New York school employees – across the nation are filing three new federal court cases challenging the constitutionality of public sector union officials’ forced dues powers. These cases, being filed today with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, argue that state requirements that the plaintiffs pay mandatory union fees as a condition of government employment violate the First Amendment.

Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in that public-sector workers could be compelled as a condition of employment to pay union fees. However, in two recent National Right to Work Foundation-won Supreme Court decisions, Knox v. SEIU (2012) and Harris v. Quinn (2014), the High Court suggested it was ready to revisit a 1978 precedent in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education case, expressing skepticism about the constitutionality of public sector union officials’ forced-dues privileges.

Assisted by staff attorneys from the National Right to Work Foundation, two California Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pharmacists – Jeffery Lum and Andrew Li –are filing suit against SEIU officials in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose assisted by Foundation staff attorneys.

Three school workers in New York state have filed suit against the electrical workers union and Governor Cuomo in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in Utica.

In Pennsylvania, the Foundation is working with the Fairness Center on behalf of four schoolteachers from three school districts that have filed suit against the Pennsylvania State Education Association union in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg.

A similar challenge came before the Supreme Court last year, in Freidrichs v. CTA. While the Court ended up tied 4-4 in Friedrichs after the death of Justice Scalia, these three new cases join the growing number of lawsuits that challenge forced dues and fees in the public sector. Foundation staff attorneys have previously filed cases on the issue in Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

“It takes a lot of courage to stand up for freedom,” said Rebecca Freidrichs, lead plaintiff in Freidrichs v. CTA. “I’m so proud of and cheering for these four courageous Pennsylvania teachers, three brave New York school employees, and two more Californians who are standing up for our hard fought liberties and bringing these cases – it is my prayer they will be victorious so all Americans can have their First Amendment rights restored.”

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation issued the following statement on the three new cases:

“It is wrong that public employees are forced by the state government to pay fees and dues to a third party, a union, in order to keep their job as school teachers and public servants. For too long, the rights of public employees have been trampled by states that require them to pay dues to a labor union just to get or keep a government job.

“Over eighty percent of Americans support the right of all employees to work without being forced to pay tribute to union officials. Many public sector employees oppose the one-size-fits-all union monopoly bargaining contract, which makes it even more shameful that the government turns around and then forces these public servants to pay union officials for so-called representation they never wanted in the first place.”

17 Jan 2017

New York Verizon Workers Win Settlement Against Union Officials For Illegal Retaliation

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CWA Union officials illegally attempted to levy five figure fines against Verizon employees who exercised rights to work despite union boss-initiated work stoppage

New York, NY (January 17, 2017) – In mid-October, 2016, seven Verizon employees filed federal unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union for violating federal labor law. The violations came after the employees exercised their right to resign their union memberships during a high profile union boss-ordered strike last year.

After CWA union officials ordered the strike, the workers chose to resign from the union and return to work. Later they were notified by CWA officials that they were being tried on internal “union discipline” charges, despite the fact that these workers were not union members when they returned to work and thus are protected by federal law.

On September 15th, the union held an internal union trial and fined the workers for going to work. Soon after, the workers were informed by letter that they had been fined sums of between nine and thirteen thousand dollars each.

Now, CWA Local 1107 union officials were required to settle the NLRB charges filed against them. The settlement requires that a notice describing the workers’ rights, and stating that the illegal fines imposed by the union bosses have been rescinded, be posted in the facility where the workers are employed.

“Union officials were caught red-handed violating the rights of workers with illegal five-figure fines just because the employees exercised their right to return to work in order to support their families,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Although these employees have won their legal battle, it is outrageous that these types of illegal retaliatory fines remain common when workers choose to exercise their right to remain on the job and defy union-ordered strike demands.”

13 Jan 2017

Foundation Case on Petition to U.S. Supreme Court Picks up Amicus Brief

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Constitutional challenge would free childcare providers from being forced to accept unwanted union ‘representation’

On December 9th, a group of New York childcare providers, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down a compulsory unionism scheme on First Amendment grounds. The childcare providers are challenging a New York law that empowers union officials to speak for all childcare providers, including those who have not joined and do not support the union, when bargaining with state government.

Foundation attorneys argue that the current arrangement violates the providers’ First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition their government by naming a union as their state-designated lobbyist.

Recently, The Pacific Legal Foundation together with the Goldwater Institute, Fairness Center, Pioneer Institute, and Empire Center, filed an amicus brief supporting the petition, arguing that Americans cannot be compelled to speak or associate, or petition the government, against their wishes. To read the full brief please click here and to learn more about the case click here.

11 Jan 2017

Worker Advocate Files Amicus Brief in Support of Personal Care Providers Seeking Refund of Illegally Seized Union Dues

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National Right to Work Foundation brief filed with 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says union bosses should not keep dues seized in scheme ruled unconstitutional by U.S. Supreme Court in Foundation-won Harris case

San Francisco CA (January 11, 2017) – The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has filed an amicus curiae brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Hoffman, Routh, Eby, Olson v. Inslee in support of homecare workers in the state of Washington seeking a return of illegally seized union fees. The providers bringing the case are among the thousands of personal care provers in Washington State who had union dues illegally confiscated from them in a mandatory union dues scheme later ruled unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.

The United States Supreme Court outlined these rights in Harris v. Quinn, argued and won by Foundation staff attorneys in 2014. Harris held that the collection of forced union dues from home-based caregivers violated their First Amendment rights. The ruling struck down the scheme in Illinois, but the precedent established rendered similar schemes in other states, including Washington, unconstitutional.

In the amicus brief, Foundation attorneys argue that under Harris v. Quinn the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has no lawful authority to take the provider’s money and that now SEIU officials have no more right to keep the money than any individual or business that illegally confiscates money from a victim against their will.

“It is outrageous that forced dues seized under a scheme struck down by the Supreme Court in Harris v. Quinn have not yet been returned to the victims of the SEIU’s unconstitutional forced dues scheme,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “SEIU bosses have no more right to these providers’ money than a thief has to keep the money stolen during an armed robbery.”

10 Jan 2017

National Right to Work Foundation Launches Kentucky Task Force to Defend and Enforce New Right to Work Law

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Foundation staff attorneys will provide free legal aid to Bluegrass State workers seeking to exercise new Right to Work protections


Springfield, VA (January 10, 2017) –
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced today the creation of a special task force to defend and enforce Kentucky’s newly-passed Right to Work law. Foundation staff attorneys will offer free legal advice and aid to Bluegrass State workers seeking to exercise their rights to refrain from union membership and union dues payment, guaranteed by the Right to Work law.

On Saturday January 7, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed into law Right to Work legislation, thereby making Kentucky the nation’s newest and 27th Right to Work state.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation has a long history of assisting employees seeking to exercise their Right to Work rights, most recently under Right to Work provisions enacted in West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Foundation staff attorneys are prepared to defend the Kentucky Right to Work law from any spurious legal challenges brought by union officials. Big Labor, unwilling to give up their forced-dues powers, routinely challenges Right to Work laws in courts despite the fact that Right to Work laws have repeatedly been upheld.

Unfortunately, union officials also often try to stymie independent-minded workers who seek to exercise their rights under Right to Work laws. Any Kentucky worker who has questions about his or her rights, or encounters any resistance or abuse while trying to exercise his or her workplace rights, is encouraged to contact Foundation staff attorneys for free legal aid.

“It’s not enough to enact Right to Work protections; they must be vigorously defended and enforced,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. Union bosses will go to great lengths to keep workers in their forced-dues grasp. The National Right to Work Foundation will fight to make sure that every Kentuckian’s Right to Work is protected, because no worker should ever be forced to pay union dues or fees just to get or keep a job.”

Staff attorneys are preparing a special legal notice to be released in the coming days to inform all Kentucky workers of their new workplace rights. In addition to its Kentucky task force, the Foundation is also currently active in defending state Right to Work laws in Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Idaho against union lawsuits.

Affected employees are encouraged to call the Foundation’s legal hotline toll-free at 1-800-336-3600 or contact the Foundation online at www.nrtw.org to request free legal assistance or to learn more about their new rights.

4 Jan 2017

What is a Right to Work law?

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A Right to Work law guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, nor to pay dues to a labor union.

For more, read our Frequently Asked Questions page.

9 Dec 2016

New York Childcare Providers Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down Forced Unionization Scheme on First Amendment Grounds

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Constitutional challenge would free childcare providers from being forced to accept unwanted union ‘representation’

Washington, DC (December 9, 2016) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a group of New York childcare providers have petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down a compulsory unionism scheme on First Amendment grounds.

The childcare providers are challenging a New York law that empowers union officials to speak for all childcare providers, including those who have not joined and do not support the union, when bargaining with state government.

The providers seek to halt implementation of a New York law that designates the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for thousands of in-state childcare providers. Under the law, CSEA officials are empowered to negotiate with the State of New York over the providers’ professional practices and a public subsidy they receive for caregiving. The affected providers are either small business owners or family members who care for the children of relatives.

Foundation attorneys argue that the current arrangement violates the providers’ First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition their government by naming a union as their state-designated lobbyist.

The caregivers’ petition builds on the National Right to Work Foundation’s 2014 Supreme Court victory in Harris v. Quinn, which outlawed the collection of mandatory union dues from home-based caregivers. Prior to that decision, the New York law the petitioners are challenging empowered union officials to collect forced dues from all home-based childcare providers. According to Foundation staff attorneys, the Harris precedent suggests that caregivers should also be free from the burden of accepting an unwanted union’s bargaining and mandatory representation.

Foundation staff attorneys are helping home and childcare providers challenge similar schemes in Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington State.

“Small business owners and those who help care for relatives’ children should not be forced to associate with labor union officials they have no interest in supporting,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We hope the Supreme Court takes this opportunity to outlaw government-imposed monopoly union representation for home-based care providers as incompatible with the First Amendment.”

9 Dec 2016

Foundation Staff Attorneys Attend Charter School Conferences to Inform Teachers of Their Rights

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Charter school employees increasingly are targets for forced unionization

Springfield, VA (December 9, 2016) – The National Right to Work Foundation is stepping up its efforts to inform charter school teachers and other employees of the legal rights they have to refrain from compulsory unionism. As part of the effort, Foundation staff attorneys are attending charter school conferences in Ohio and Louisiana this month.

Sending Foundation attorneys to these charter school conferences is part of a growing initiative of the Foundation’s legal information program to ensure charter school employees are fully aware of their rights and are able to make an informed decision in regards to unionization.

Union bosses have historically been steadfastly opposed to the existence of charter schools because they see them as a threat to their monopoly over students and teachers. However, as the popularity of charter schools has continued to grow, union officials have been increasingly targeting charter school employees as new sources of forced dues to fill their depleting coffers.

“Teachers and students alike are flocking to charter schools in part because they are largely free of the teacher union monopoly that puts union boss power ahead of what is best for teachers, students and their communities,” National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix commented. “Sending Foundation staff attorneys to these conferences is a crucial part of our charter school initiative to ensure charter school employees are able to make informed decisions about union representation in an atmosphere free from union boss threats, harassment, coercion, or misrepresentation.”

To learn more about the Foundation’s charter school initiative and the legal rights charter school employees have, please visit www.nrtw.org/your-rights-charter.

Charter school teachers, or any other employee who finds themselves the victim of compulsory unionism abuses can contact the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation to request free legal assistance at anytime by calling 1-800-336-3600 or by going to www.nrtw.org/free-legal-aid/