Saturday, October 16, 2021

Government employees in California and Oregon fight in Supreme Court over forced union dues

Government employees involved in four separate lawsuits are asking the Supreme Court to force labor unions to refund fees illegally confiscated from their salaries, saying the unions lost a major case in 2018. later refused to return.

A spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation told The Epoch Times that an appeal from a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Bryce v. California Faculty Association, was filed in the Supreme Court last week. As of press time, it did not appear to have been docked by the High Court yet.

All cases were filed with free legal representation from lawyers for the National Rights to Work staff, two of which were filed in partnership with attorneys at the Freedom Foundation.

Both organizations are optimistic that the lawsuits together could empower thousands of public sector employees who do not belong to unions, which amounted to millions of dollars in union dues seized before the Supreme Court’s landmark 2018 decision, Janus v. AFSCME. Can get refund. In Janus, the court threw a wrench in funding their operations, while the court dismissed Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977), which held that public-sector unions were able to negotiate their collective bargaining with non-members. Agencies forced to finance activities may collect fees. Violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said, “For decades, union bosses swamped the paychecks of many workers who weren’t union members and used their money to finance activities that needed to be funded. Those workers had strongly protested.”

“They continued to forfeit the dues despite the workers’ pleas and the Supreme Court’s warnings that their actions were likely unconstitutional. Because of the statute of limitations, a decision in favor of these workers would only force union owners to return a small portion of the billions of dollars they illegally stole from public employees’ paychecks.

“The Supreme Court should not allow the lower courts to shield union owners from accountability for years of violations. The Court should take up these matters immediately, and provide relief to the millions of public sector employees whose rights are vested in the union. The owners have ruthlessly violated over the years,” Mix said.

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The suit, filed on behalf of government employees in California and Oregon, includes lawsuits filed by William Huff; a worker at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority; William D. Bryce, Professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills; and two lawsuits filed by state employees in Oregon. The plaintiffs argue that legal precedent allows victims of First Amendment violations to be sued for damages or restitution and that public sector workers who are forced to pay union dues in First Amendment violations are those money. Worth getting back.

The Supreme Court has refused to hear several other cases seeking forcible refund of agency fees from unions in view of the Janus verdict.

The Epoch Times previously reported On one of those cases, Danielson v. Inslee.

Writing for a unanimous three-judge panel in a 20-page decision, Obama-appointed Jacqueline H. Nguyen determined that the union had collected agency fees in good faith and should not refund them.

The union “does not need to predict changing winds in the Supreme Court,” she wrote.

Nguyen wrote, “It is true that, under current law, employees have suffered a constitutional mistake for which they may have no viable means of compensation.”

“Nevertheless, ordering the transfer of funds from one innocent actor to another would not be justified, especially where the latter got profit from the exchange.”

The Epoch Times contacted Acting US Solicitor General Brian H. Fletcher, who represents the federal government in proceedings before the Supreme Court, but had not received a response as of press time.


Mathew Vadum is an award-winning investigative journalist and a recognized expert on left-wing activism.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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