Here's our latest press release on the Foundation's efforts to defend the rights of religious objectors to refrain from supporting union activities that offend their deeply-held beliefs:
Cincinnati, Ohio (September 24, 2008) – National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys recently obtained settlements with the National Education Association (NEA) union for two teachers whose consciences would not allow them to pay mandatory dues to support a union involved in activities they consider immoral. Geralyn Buening and Tessy Huwer, both practicing Catholics, objected to the NEA’s positions on abortion and special rights for homosexuals.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination against religious employees and requires companies and unions to attempt to reasonably accommodate employees’ sincerely-held religious beliefs. The obligation to accommodate includes the payment of compulsory union fees, as no employee should be forced to fund a union that engages in activities that offend their religious convictions.
The Ohio teachers originally filed charges against the NEA teacher union with the Ohio Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that the union was in violation of their rights as religious objectors. In return for withdrawing the charges, the settlement allows the teachers to redirect their mandatory agency fees to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, rather than pay any funds whatsoever to a union hierarchy steeped in objectionable social activism.