Mark Janus returns to federal court to request refund of forced union fees outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court

Mark Janus returns to federal court to request refund of forced union fees outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court

Mark Janus, plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Janus v. AFSCME, accompanied by his attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation will be arguing today before the 7th Circuit Court why he should be refunded the thousands of dollars in illegal union fees taken from his paycheck while a state employee. Oral arguments will begin at 9:30 a.m. CT in room 2721 of the Dirksen Federal Building at 219 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago. Mark Janus and his attorneys will hold a media availability and press briefing in the lobby of the courthouse. Estimated time of media availability 11 a.m. CT.

Press Release: Minnesota community college employee sues over coerced union membership, illegal dues deduction

Press Release: Minnesota community college employee sues over coerced union membership, illegal dues deduction

MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 17, 2019) – An Inver Grove Heights woman is suing AFSCME Council 5 for pressuring her to sign a union card, providing her with misleading information about union membership and violating her First Amendment rights. She has filed a federal lawsuit with the help of attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center and the Upper Midwest Law Center.

Press Release: Maryland state employees file class action lawsuit against AFSCME, seeking refund of approximately $7 million in illegal union fees

Press Release: Maryland state employees file class action lawsuit against AFSCME, seeking refund of approximately $7 million in illegal union fees

The U.S. Supreme Court says it is illegal to require public employees to pay union fees as a condition of employment. Now, a group of Maryland state employees who were forced to pay these fees prior to the Court’s decision is demanding a refund.

Today, 19 Maryland state employees filed a federal class-action lawsuit against AFSCME Council 3, demanding the union return money taken from their paychecks for union “agency” or “fair share” fees before the Court’s June 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME. If successful, these workers and nearly 10,000 other state employees could recoup up to $7 million that the union took from them.

California, Teamsters ignore landmark Supreme Court Case — New lawsuit targets forced union support and denial of information

California, Teamsters ignore landmark Supreme Court Case — New lawsuit targets forced union support and denial of information

Employees can’t be forced to pay a union to work in public service, and the state can’t withhold information from employees about their constitutional rights. That’s what two University of California employees argue in a lawsuit filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against state officials and Teamsters Local 2010.

Press Release: New class action lawsuit demands millions of dollars in refunds from AFSCME District Council 37, New York City’s top employee union

NEW YORK (July 23, 2019) – A class action lawsuit filed against New York City’s largest municipal union is demanding millions of dollars in illegal union fees be returned to city employees. If successful, approximately 7,000 city employees could recoup as much as $7 million in illegal union fees they paid between 2016 and 2018.

For decades, the city required employees who were not union members to pay hundreds of dollars a year in “agency fees” to AFSCME District Council 37. But in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that it is a violation of employees’ First Amendment rights to require them to fund government unions as a condition of working in public service. The new lawsuit, Solomon v. AFSCME DC 37, demands the union pay back millions of dollars in illegal union fees that it took from non-members prior to the Court’s ruling in Janus.

The lawsuit was filed by attorneys from the same nonprofit law firms that brought the Janus case, the Liberty Justice Center and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.  

“The Supreme Court was clear: Mandatory union fees are unconstitutional. These fees should never have been taken from government workers’ paychecks. Now it’s time for AFSCME to give back the money it wrongfully took,” said Patrick Hughes, president and co-founder of the Liberty Justice Center.  

The plaintiff in the new case, Scott Solomon, was a city planner in the Queens office of the New York City Department of City Planning from October 2014 to July 2018. During that time, he paid approximately $750 per year in agency fees to AFSCME District Council 37, even though he was not a union member. Solomon is seeking a refund of union fees he and other city employees paid from July 22, 2016, through June 28, 2018, because this is what is permitted under the New York statute of limitations. If he is successful, all city employees who were not union members but paid fees to AFSCME District Council 37 could receive refunds. While the employees could collect two years of union fees, most paid much more in illegal union fees over the course of their public service careers.

“As this case demonstrates, even after the Supreme Court clearly ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that forcibly seizing union dues and fees violates the First Amendment rights of the very workers they claim to represent, AFSCME union bosses refuse to make restitution to their countless victims,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. “Just as a bank robber caught red-handed would never be allowed to keep the proceeds of such illegal behavior, union officials must also return the money they’ve pilfered from the paychecks of New York City municipal workers in violation of the Constitution.”

BACKGROUND ON JANUS V. AFSCME SUPREME COURT CASE:
For decades, government workers in New York and other states without right-to-work laws were required to pay union fees as a condition of employment. It didn’t matter if workers weren’t union members or did not support the unions’ positions on policies and politics; politicians in New York and elsewhere had granted government unions the power to exclusively represent public sector workers, and to collect mandatory union fees from their paychecks. But in 2015, a child support specialist for Illinois government named Mark Janus filed a federal lawsuit challenging the practice of mandatory union fees. The case, Janus v. AFSCME, went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of Mark Janus on June 27, 2018, restoring the rights of Free Speech and Freedom of Association to more than 5 million government employees across the country.

The new class action lawsuit, Solomon v. AFSCME DC 37, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A copy of the case is available here: https://standwithworkers.org/solomon-v-afscme-dc-37