LJC launches lawsuit in New Mexico to help workers leave their union

A conservative nonprofit group is suing the state of New Mexico on behalf of a government employee who wants out of his labor union.

The case, filed by the Liberty Justice Center, is in some ways a next step after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruled against labor unions earlier this year in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

In that case, the court said it’s unconstitutional to require public employees who are not union members to pay part of the union’s collective bargaining costs through fees deducted from their wages.

In this latest suit, the Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center argues that union members should be able to cancel their membership whenever they wish, contending it is unconstitutional to limit the period when employees can withdraw to particular periods of the year, as is the case in some union contracts.

AFSCME Defies Janus, Tells Members They Can’t Leave

Connecticut public sector workers who want to resign from their union may find themselves in Hotel California -- you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

That's because AFSCME Council 4 has begun to deny members their right to resign union membership if they have signed in union card within the past two years.

Legal NewsLine: California teacher alleges constitutional rights have been violated by union, school district

November 27, 2018 – A special education teacher in California alleges his constitutional rights have been violated because his union has refused to allow him to withdraw his membership on three separate occasions.

The Liberty Justice Center filed a complaint on behalf of Thomas Few Nov. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against United Teachers of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra seeking declaratory relief.

LJC Lawsuit in California Aims to Make Unions Respect the Supreme Court's Authority

Despite the Janus ruling, some unions are still forcing public workers to pay annual dues.

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision from June in Janus v. the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was clear: Public employees no longer are required to pay union dues, even for collective-bargaining purposes. This was no technical or ambiguous point. The court declared it an infringement of the First Amendment when the government forces workers to financially support organizations that they don't want to support.

Case settled, right? Not entirely. Public-sector unions, especially in California, aren't used to finding themselves on the losing end of a public-policy battle. As Janus made its way to the high court, some of the state's unions successfully lobbied the Democratic-controlled Legislature to pass laws designed to undermine the expected decision in that case, which involved an Illinois social-worker who didn't want to pay dues to his local AFSCME union

Liberty Justice Center Threatens to Sue Governments That Obstruct the Janus Decision.

Liberty Justice Center Threatens to Sue Governments That Obstruct the Janus Decision.

The good news: The U.S. Supreme Court issued a groundbreaking decision in favor of workers’ rights when it ruled that no government worker can be forced to pay a government union as a condition of working in public service. In the months since the ruling, government workers from every corner of the country are attempting to exercise their newly restored constitutional rights.

The bad news: Unsurprisingly, government unions and politicians are standing in their way.

Fox News: The Liberty Justice Center is Holding Government Unions Accountable

Despite the landmark Supreme Court ruling this summer barring public-sector unions from requiring nonmembers to pay so-called agency fees, workers in several states say unions are either flat-out ignoring the decision or establishing a frustrating maze of procedural roadblocks to avoid compliance.

Massachusetts Officials Say the Janus Ruling Doesn't Apply to Union Membership.

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unions can no longer collect fees from non-members, unions and their advocates slammed the decision as an attack on working people. Many labor rights activists warned the decision could seriously diminish the power of unions.

Unions locking workers in

As government workers begin exercising their rights to leave their unions, some are speaking out about the ways government unions are trying to lock them into paying fees or dues.

The  Washington-based Freedom Foundation reported this disturbing incident: AFSCME 3299 refused to accept a union resignation letter submitted by a government worker. The union told the employee that her letter lacked “sufficient information” to verify that the worker did, in fact, wish to resign from her union. Instead, AFSCME 3299 instructed the employee to use the union’s own form – a form that would waive all membership rights but require the employee to pay “service fees” to the union indefinitely.

WSJ: Unions take a hit after Supreme Court ruling

Jessica Lapp, a 41-year-old fifth-grade teacher in Lancaster, Pa., has seen a bump in her pay as Pennsylvania stopped collecting about $400 a year she paid to the Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Ms. Lapp, who describes herself as a conservative Republican, earns about $60,000 a year and says she opposed the politics of the union and its parent, the National Education Association, which has consistently backed Democratic candidates. She declined union membership but was required to pay an agency fee.

“I feel great,” said Ms. Lapp. “We’re always talking to our kids ab

MassLive: Senate gives unions more power despite Janus decision in late-night vote

During the final hours of the legislative session, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that would give unions power to provide benefits only to their members, in a response to a recent Supreme Court decision.

The bill would also allow union representatives to meet with each new employee and give unions access to the addresses and phone numbers of all employees.

The Pioneer Institute, a free market think tank, wrote a response to a similar, though not identical, proposal last week. It said the bill: "would gut Massachusetts labor relations law," which currently prohibits public employers from discriminating against those who are not union members in hiring, tenure, or any term or condition of employment. The Pioneer Institute warned that employees could be intimidated or coerced into joining a union under these provisions.

New Hampshire Union Leader: NH study: $1M-plus savings from union dues ruling

CONCORD — The first such study of its kind in New Hampshire concludes nearly 2,200 public employees could save more than $1 million in their paychecks each year as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled it violates the First Amendment to make workers pay fees to cover the cost of a union’s collective bargaining.

The total fees deducted represented about 20 percent of the more than $4 million in annual dues paid by the 7,051 state workers who are members of the Service Employees International Union 1984, otherwise known as the State Employees Association.

Government workers get a salary increase

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal for governments to require teachers, first responders and other public sector workers to pay a government union as a condition of holding their job. What does this mean for government workers?

In at least six states, government workers just got a raise! This means that government workers can spend more of their hard-earned money on their families, their interests and the causes they care about – at no expense to their fellow taxpayers.

Here’s what we’re seeing across the country:

News10: Supreme Court ruling on union dues causing confusion

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - After the Supreme Court ruling in the Janus case regarding union fees, there has been some confusion on what has actually changed, prompting the state to release guidelines to help answer any questions.

The Empire Center for Public Policy released a report saying that some of the guidelines are wrong. For example, it says that unions do not have to provide membership cards to employers, which Ken Girardin says goes directly against state law. 

"If the governor gave this kind of advice to a paying client, he'd likely face malpractice charges." 

USA Today: Supreme Court’s Janus v AFSCME ruling will force unions to be more accountable

Teacher op-ed: As a teacher in Minnesota, I didn’t have a choice about whether or not to pay the union that was supposed to represent me, and when my union ultimately failed to stand by my side during a dispute with my district, I had no choice but to continue paying it.