Lawsuit: Forced Union Dues Scheme Violates Supreme Court Orders

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An Oregon-based home healthcare worker filed a lawsuit alleging the state is in violation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling by forcing private healthcare providers to pay union dues, an announcement stated Monday.

Mary Anne Rose assists elderly patients in her role as a home healthcare provider. State policies force her to fund union activities by classifying private healthcare workers as a public employee. She filed her lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union Local 503 (SEIU) and the state with the aim of ending the policies altogether

“Oregon homecare workers and personal support workers are employees of the clients they care for,” the lawsuit, which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation, stated. “However, they have been deemed ‘public employees’ only for the purpose of collective bargaining. The exclusive bargaining representative for both categories of workers is SEIU 503.”

The 2014 case Harris v. Quinn found that Illinois home healthcare providers were not state workers. The ruling meant the providers could not be forced to pay union dues as one collective unit just because they were Medicaid-funded. The Freedom Foundation and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTW) is assisting Rose with her lawsuit.

“Despite a Supreme Court ruling that explicitly outlaws this sort of forced-dues scheme, union bosses continue to seize money from mothers and fathers who are simply taking care of their own children,” NRTW President Mark Mix said in a statement. “It is outrageous that the state of Oregon continues to permit SEIU bosses to siphon off funding intended for the care of children.”

NRTW attorneys also assisted the Illinois home healthcare providers during the 2014 case. While Rose and many other Oregon home healthcare providers are no longer union members, the state still requires them to keep funding union activities as a collective bargaining unit.

The lawsuit alleges state policies create bureaucratic obstacles to prevent the workers from opting-out of payment dues. For instance, workers are only allowed to opt-out of paying union dues during a 15-day period, which occurs only once a year.

Local 503 did not respond to a request for comment by TheDCNF.

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