News Release

Judge Strikes Down Michigan Teacher Union's Illegal "Window Period" Scheme

Michigan union officials stonewall workers' attempts to exercise their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law

Lansing, MI (September 4, 2014) – A Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) judge has struck down the Michigan Education Association (MEA) union hierarchy's scheme to prohibit public school teachers and employees from exercising their rights to refrain from union membership.

The ruling stems from state charges filed by Mark Norgan, a Standish-Sterling Community Schools janitor, Alphia Snyder, a Battle Creek Public Schools secretary, and Mary Carr, a Grand Blanc Community Schools special education department secretary, with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.

The charges challenged MEA's policy of requiring workers to resign union membership and refrain from union dues payments only during a "window period" of August 1 through August 31.

The MERC administrative law judge agreed with Foundation staff attorneys who argued that Michigan’s Right to Work law protects workers' unequivocal right to refrain from union membership at any time. Similarly, federal labor law protects workers' absolute right to refrain from union membership at any time without penalty.

"Across the state, union officials are pulling out all the stops to keep workers from exercising their rights under Michigan's Right to Work law," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This ruling is a huge victory for workers throughout the state whose rights under Michigan's Right to Work law are being denied by unscrupulous union officials."

In similar cases across Michigan, Foundation staff attorneys are assisting several other public-sector workers who filed charges with the MERC challenging union officials' schemes to stonewall workers attempting to exercise their rights under Michigan’s Right to Work law.

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, is assisting thousands of employees in over 200 cases nationwide.

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