News Release

Union Officials, Hospital Face Charges for Refusing to Allow Nurse to Stop Paying Union Dues

Union officials defy Florida’s popular Right to Work law, which makes union membership and dues payment voluntary

Sanford, FL (January 30, 2014) – With the help of National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a Central Florida Regional Hospital nurse has filed federal unfair labor practice charges against her employer and the National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United union for refusing to allow her to stop paying union dues.

On November 15, 2013, Margaret Clark sent letters to the union and her employer announcing her decision to resign from the union and stop paying union dues. However, union officials refused to accept Clark’s dues revocation, and her employer continued to deduct union dues from her salary.

Under Florida’s popular Right to Work law, all employees have the right to resign from a union and stop paying union dues at any time. Moreover, the dues authorization form Central Florida Regional Hospital nurses sign is explicitly conditioned on the employees’ continued union membership, meaning it no longer applies once an employee leaves the union.

Union officials and Central Florida Regional Hospital management also maintain a policy that requires employees to communicate with them via certified mail – but only when employees wish to revoke their automatic dues payments. Clark’s charges also challenge this requirement on the ground that it unfairly burdens employees who wish to leave the union and stop paying dues.

Clark’s charges will now be investigated by the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency charged with administering private sector labor law.

“Union and hospital officials are defying Florida’s longstanding Right to Work law so the union can keep collecting dues from a nurse who no longer wishes to be a union member,” said Patrick Semmens, Vice President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We hope the NLRB intervenes promptly to safeguard the rights of independent-minded Florida employees.”

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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