Minneapolis, MN (June 5, 2013) – A group of Minnesota home-based childcare providers have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new law that seeks to forcibly unionize the state's home-based childcare providers.
Jennifer Parrish from Rochester and 11 other providers from around the state filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota with free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.
Parrish and other providers seek to halt implementation of a recently-passed law intended to designate Service Employees International Union (SEIU) or American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state, who are either business owners or family members who take care of children within their families.
Home-based childcare and personal care providers have challenged similar forced-unionization-by-government-fiat schemes in several states across the country, including Michigan and Illinois. The Illinois case is pending at the U.S. Supreme Court. Michigan ended its scheme after Foundation attorneys filed suit for providers there.
Foundation attorneys argue that such schemes violate the providers' First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition the government. The government does not have the power to force citizens to accept its handpicked political representation to lobby itself. Under the Minnesota scheme, after the union is installed it will then be empowered to confiscate dues from childcare providers for this forced "exclusive representation.
"Citizens have the power to select their political representation in government, not the other way around," said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. "This scheme, which forces small business owners, and even grandma taking care of her grandchildren, into union political association is a slap in the face of fundamental American principles we hold dear."
"This union boss power grab scheme is nothing more than pure political payback and was popularized by disgraced Governors Gray Davis of California and Rod Blagojevich of Illinois."
Many of the 12 providers previously challenged in federal court Governor Mark Dayton's executive order that also sought to force the state's homecare providers into union ranks. That suit was rendered moot after a state court struck down Dayton's executive order as outside his authority under state law.