Public Employees 

SEIU Officials, Santa Clara County Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Violating Employees' Rights

News Release

SEIU Officials, Santa Clara County Face Class-Action Lawsuit for Violating Employees' Rights

Relying on landmark Knox Supreme Court decision, county employees seek to end automatic dues deduction for union politics

San Jose, CA (December 3, 2014) – Two Santa Clara Valley Medical Center employees have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against a local union and the county that seeks to expand public employees' right to refrain from paying union dues used for union politics.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation-provided staff attorneys, San Jose-area county employees Jeffrey Lum and Andrew Li filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose Division.

Lum and Li are not formal union members in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521. Because California does not have a Right to Work law, workers can be required to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. However, nonmember workers have the right to refrain from paying for union boss politics and many other activities not related to bargaining with their employer.

Although Lum and Li are not union members, SEIU and county officials continue to deduct an amount equal to full union dues from their paychecks as if they were.

Click here to read the full release.

Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Boss Forced Dues Powers

News Release

Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Boss Forced Dues Powers

Relying on landmark Knox Supreme Court decision, Troopers seek to end automatic dues deduction for politics from non-member state employees

Anchorage, AK (January 8, 2013) – Five Alaska State Troopers have filed the first federal lawsuit that seeks to expand public employees’ right to refrain from paying union dues used for union politics in light of last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Knox v. SEIU.

Robin Benning, Patrick Johnson, Andrew Neason, Chris Terry, and Ken VanSpronsen filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The troopers refrain from formal union membership in the Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 803. Because they are not formal union members, the troopers have a right not to pay the part of union dues used for union politics, lobbying, and member-only events.

Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in the Foundation-won Knox v. SEIU decision that California state employees who refrain from formal union membership could not be compelled to pay for union politicking via a "special assessment" for a self-described "political fight back fund." The Court's majority ruled for the first time that union officials must obtain affirmative consent from workers before using workers' forced union fees for union politicking.

The Alaskan troopers are seeking to expand that decision to apply to all instances when public employees refrain from union membership.

Click here to read the full release.

Update: Wisconsin Civil Servants Defend Governor's Public-Sector Unionism Reforms in Federal Appeals Court

Monday, a National Right to Work Foundation staff attorney argued for three Wisconsin public employees who are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (located in Chicago) to uphold all of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's public-sector unionism reform measures, known as "Act 10."

The case is on appeal after a federal circuit court judge in Wisconsin struck down Wisconsin's new union recertification requirements and ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues from general employees' paychecks, and excluded the three workers from participating fully in the case.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, Pleasant Prairie teacher Kristi Lacroix, Waukesha high school teacher Nathan Berish, and trust fund specialist at the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds Ricardo Cruz filed a motion to intervene in the lower court. When their motion to intervene was denied, the employees appealed and were given a portion of the argument time in Monday's appeals court argument.

The three workers are asking the appellate court to uphold the law as a whole as constitutional especially the law's Right to Work protections -- relying on Foundation-won U.S. Supreme Court precedents in which the Court held that union bosses have no constitutional right to collect fees from nonmembers and that unions have no constitutional right to use government resources to deduct dues from workers' paychecks.

Teacher Files State Complaints After Union Bosses Violate Act 10, U.S. Constitution

News Release

Teacher Files State Complaints After Union Bosses Violate Act 10, U.S. Constitution

Case shows why Act 10 is needed to protect state workers

Madison, WI (September 21, 2012) – A former Greenwood, Wisconsin teacher has filed complaints against a local teacher union for illegally refusing to honor her right under the state law commonly referred to as "Act 10" to refrain from union dues payments, and for refusing to follow constitutional disclosure requirements.

Amy Anaya filed the complaint with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

Anaya was a School District of Greenwood teacher for a year, beginning in August 2011, after Act 10 became effective. In September 2011, Greenwood Education Association (GEA) union officials approached Anaya and illegally told her that she "had to" sign the union's membership form. Anaya informed them that she had no desire to become a member of the union.

Click here to read the full release.

SEIU Officials Face State Prosecution for Violating Pharmacist’s Rights

News Release

SEIU Officials Face State Prosecution for Violating Pharmacist's Rights

Case shows desperate need for California Right to Work law

San Jose, CA (September 6, 2012) – Last week, the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) filed a complaint against a local union for illegally refusing to honor a worker's right to refrain from full-dues-paying union membership.

With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pharmacist Jeffrey Lum of Cupertino filed a state charge in June against Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 for illegally forcing him into full union dues payments.

Lum, a county employee, exercised his right to refrain from formal union membership in November 2011 and sent a letter to the SEIU notifying the union hierarchy of his decision.

Click here to read the full release.

State Trooper Files Charge Against Connecticut State Police Union

News Release

State Trooper Files Charge Against Connecticut State Police Union

Union bosses violate Connecticut state police trooper’s rights

Hartford, CT (August 2, 2012) – A Connecticut state trooper has filed a state charge against a local union for violating his rights.

With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, state police trooper Marc Lamberty of Hartford County filed the charge with the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations.

In June 2011, Lamberty resigned from formal union membership in the Connecticut State Police Union and invoked his right to refrain from paying full union dues.

Click here to read the full release.

Government Union Officials Sic Collection Agency on Unsuspecting Public Defender for Illegal Forced Dues

News Release

Government Union Officials Sic Collection Agency on Unsuspecting Public Defender for Illegal Forced Dues

Worker unaware of union officials' so-called representation; case shows need for state Right to Work law

Albuquerque, NM (June 26, 2012) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a public defender from the Alamogordo office of the New Mexico Public Defender Department has filed a charge against a local union for wrongfully charging her with failure to pay union dues for the past five years.

Nancy Fleming filed the charge with the New Mexico Public Employee Labor Relations Board against American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) New Mexico Council 18 union for illegally trying to confiscate forced union dues payments from her paycheck without notifying her that she was in the union’s monopoly bargaining unit and refusing to follow federal disclosure requirements.

Fleming was unaware that AFSCME Council 18 union officials' claimed to "represent" her and was never asked if she wanted to be a member or pay union dues or fees to the union. However, Fleming began to receive notices earlier this year from a collection agency stating that the union reported her delinquent in paying union dues or fees dating back to 2006.

Click here to read the full release.

Unionized Probation Officers Win Refunds in Federal Suit over Free Speech Rights

News Release

Unionized Probation Officers Win Refunds in Federal Suit over Free Speech Rights

New York public employees desperately need Right to Work protections

Rochester, NY (April 24, 2012) – Four Monroe County probation officers have won relief in their protracted federal legal battle against two government unions for violating their First Amendment rights.

The four officers, led by David Scheffer, filed the suit with free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys.

The probation officers sued Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) union and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for deliberately violating their First Amendment rights by seizing forced union dues from their paychecks for illegal union expenditures. The officers charged that union officials were spending their forced dues on union organizing drives, despite the officers' objections.

Read the entire release here.

Judge Reaffirms Legal Basis for Government Union Reforms While Striking down Part of Wisconsin’s Act 10

News Release

Judge Reaffirms Legal Basis for Government Union Reforms While Striking down Part of Wisconsin's Act 10

Ruling makes clear: Future reforms that include all government sector unions would be safe from legal challenges

Madison, WI (March 30, 2012) – In response to Judge Conley's opinion striking down several aspects of Wisconsin's recently-enacted public sector union reforms, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix issued the following statement:

"Critically, Judge Conley's ruling reaffirms the right of states to limit government union officials' monopoly bargaining powers. Once again, a federal court has made it clear that union officials have no right to collect dues or fees from nonmembers."

"While we disagree with the ruling's conclusion that there isn't a rational basis for recertification requirements and a ban on the use of taxpayer funded-payroll systems to collect union dues for general employees, the opinion shows why public safety officials should not have been exempted in the first place. The real solution to the 'equal protection' claims raised by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit is to apply Act 10 to all government employee unions and stop – in the judge's words – 'selectively subsidizing public unions.' If anything, this ruling provides a blueprint for state legislators looking to limit union officials' extraordinary special legal powers that no other private organization enjoys."

Read the entire release here.

News Release: Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Forced-Dues Scheme

News Release

Alaska State Troopers Seek to Handcuff Government Union Forced-Dues Scheme

Right to Work Foundation attorneys challenge union hierarchy for violating employees' constitutional rights

Anchorage, AK (March 8, 2012) – Two Alaska State Troopers have filed a federal lawsuit against a local union and the Department of Public Safety for violating their rights. Patrick Johnson and Robin Benning filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska in Anchorage with free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation.

Both Johnson and Benning resigned from formal union membership in the Public Safety Employees Association (PSEA) union, an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 803, in August 2011, and invoked their right to refrain from paying full union dues.

Read the entire release here.


Terms of Web Site Use      Related Links: National Right to Work Committee | National Institute for Labor Relations Research

Copyright © 2010 National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
 National Right to Work Legal Defense and Education Foundation, Inc.
8001 Braddock Road / Springfield, Virginia 22160
(703) 321-8510 | (800) 336-3600 / (703) 321-9613 fax - general (703) 321-9319 fax - legal department