News Release

Federal Lawsuit Slams Oregon SEIU Union Bosses for Illegal Forced-Dues Scheme Violating SCOTUS Ruling

Home healthcare providers file suit to force SEIU Local 503 and state officials to comply fully with Harris v. Quinn, stop blocking providers from exercising their constitutional rights

SALEM, Oregon (February 15, 2016) – With free legal assistance from the Freedom Foundation and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, a Medicaid-funded home healthcare provider in Oregon filed a federal lawsuit against Service Employees International Union Local 503 (Local 503) and the State of Oregon and various state agencies. The lawsuit seeks to end a Local 503 scheme which forces home healthcare providers, who are former union members, to continue paying dues to Local 503 as part of a state policy.

A similar forced-dues scheme in Illinois was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014. In the NRTW Foundation-won case, Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that because home healthcare providers who merely receive a state subsidy are not full-fledged public employees, they cannot be forced to join or pay a fee to a union to receive the state subsidy.

The Oregon lawsuit seeks to force Local 503 and Oregon state officials to comply with the Court’s Harris precedent, and allow providers to revoke any previous dues authorizations.

Local 503 officials are imposing bureaucratic hurdles to make it very difficult for home healthcare providers to stop dues deductions. Local 503 officials have imposed a restrictive annual 15-day window period to revoke dues deductions authorizations.

The lawsuit seeks to strike down the window period and require Local 503 and the state to comply with Harris, so that any Oregon home healthcare worker who receives a state subsidy can stop all dues and fees to Local 503 at any time, for any reason.

“Despite a Supreme Court ruling that explicitly outlaws this sort of forced-dues scheme, union bosses continue to seize money from mothers and fathers who are simply taking care of their own children,” said Mark Mix, president of the NRTW Foundation. “It is outrageous that the state of Oregon continues to permit SEIU bosses to siphon off funding intended for the care of children.”

“This case demonstrates why Oregon needs a Right to Work law, which would make union membership and payment of dues or fees strictly voluntary,” continued Mix.

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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