Minneapolis, MN (July 28, 2014) – Today, a group of home-based personal care providers who care for family members filed a federal lawsuit challenging a law that authorizes forcible unionization of the state’s home-based personal care providers.
With free legal aid from National Right to Work Foundation attorneys, Teri Bierman and eight other providers from around the state filed the suit against Governor Mark Dayton and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
The homecare providers’ suit requests an injunction halting implementation of a law intended to designate SEIU union officials as the monopoly political representative of thousands of providers in the state. The SEIU seeks to unionize the providers via a mail-in vote starting August 1.
The suit challenges the forced-unionism scheme on the grounds that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of free political expression and association.
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Harris v. Quinn, a Foundation case challenging whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will. The Court held that individuals who indirectly receive state subsidies based on their clientele cannot be forced to pay compulsory union fees. The Court’s ruling renders unconstitutional similar homecare unionization schemes in effect in at least 13 other states.
Meanwhile, a federal lawsuit brought by Minnesota home-based childcare providers seeking to overturn a similar state law is pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.
“This scheme, which forces relatives taking care of persons with disabilities into union political association is a slap in the face of fundamental American principles we hold dear,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “In effect Governor Dayton is picking the SEIU as the lobbyists for Minnesota’s personal care providers as payback for the union bosses’ support and political contributions.”
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, assists thousands of employees in around 250 cases nationwide per year.