Imagine having to pay a middleman in order to go to work. Pay up – or find another job. 

That’s the reality for more than 5 million government workers in 22 states, including Illinois, Minnesota, New York and California. Teachers, child support specialists, prison workers, police, firefighters and other government employees are forced to pay money to highly political government unions in order to pursue careers in public service. 

Why? Because governments in these states have granted public sector unions the power to exclusively represent and take money from these government employees. These unions have the power to speak for and take money away from government workers, regardless of whether these workers want union representation or support the unions’ policy positions. 

This is wrong, and it's a gross violation of government workers’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association. 

That’s what the Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME, is all about. It’s time to restore workers' rights. Every government worker should be able to choose for himself or herself which organizations to support with his or her hard-earned money.  

The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, is a child-support specialist who works for the State of Illinois and has been forced to pay thousands of dollars to a union just to be allowed to do the work he loves. Learn more about Mark Janus and his story.

Find out more about Janus v. AFSCME and get answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Janus v. AFSCME, Explained | Manhattan Institute

This video was produced by Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, featuring senior fellow Daniel DiSalvo.