Maryland workers want their money back

“Taking money from hardworking people without their permission is wrong and I was relieved that the Supreme Court agrees. I want my money back and so do many other state employees.”

Those are the words of Gary Mattos, a correctional dietary officer with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for 20 years and the lead plaintiff of our new federal class action lawsuit

Like me, Gary was never a member of AFSCME and never wanted anything to do with the union. Yet he was forced to pay more than $2,000 to AFSCME Council 3 starting in 2011 - after 10 years on the job paying nothing to the union. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the fees illegal last summer.

Gary is not alone. We are representing 19 Maryland state employees in Mattos v. AFSCME Council 3, demanding the union return the “agency” fees forcibly taken from their paychecks before the Court’s ruling.  

I was in Maryland this week with Brian Kelsey, senior attorney for Liberty Justice Center, to announce the filing of this federal class action lawsuit. Brian appeared live on FOX 45 to discuss the case and what it means for 10,000 Maryland state employees.

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If this case is successful, an estimated 10,000 Maryland state employees could be refunded up to $7 million. While that’s only a portion of what they’ve paid during their public service career, it will be a meaningful win for their families, and for their First Amendment rights.