Constitutional challenge would free childcare providers from being forced to accept unwanted union ‘representation’
Washington, DC (December 9, 2016) – With free legal assistance from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, a group of New York childcare providers have petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down a compulsory unionism scheme on First Amendment grounds.
The childcare providers are challenging a New York law that empowers union officials to speak for all childcare providers, including those who have not joined and do not support the union, when bargaining with state government.
The providers seek to halt implementation of a New York law that designates the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) as the exclusive bargaining agent for thousands of in-state childcare providers. Under the law, CSEA officials are empowered to negotiate with the State of New York over the providers’ professional practices and a public subsidy they receive for caregiving. The affected providers are either small business owners or family members who care for the children of relatives.
Foundation attorneys argue that the current arrangement violates the providers’ First Amendment right to choose with whom they associate to petition their government by naming a union as their state-designated lobbyist.
The caregivers’ petition builds on the National Right to Work Foundation’s 2014 Supreme Court victory in Harris v. Quinn, which outlawed the collection of mandatory union dues from home-based caregivers. Prior to that decision, the New York law the petitioners are challenging empowered union officials to collect forced dues from all home-based childcare providers. According to Foundation staff attorneys, the Harris precedent suggests that caregivers should also be free from the burden of accepting an unwanted union’s bargaining and mandatory representation.
Foundation staff attorneys are helping home and childcare providers challenge similar schemes in Minnesota, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington State.
“Small business owners and those who help care for relatives’ children should not be forced to associate with labor union officials they have no interest in supporting,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We hope the Supreme Court takes this opportunity to outlaw government-imposed monopoly union representation for home-based care providers as incompatible with the First Amendment.”
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 more than 250 cases nationwide per year.