A Washington union agreed to stop skimming dues out of the paychecks of home health care workers caring for patients with Medicaid, according to the Freedom Foundation.
The free market think tank Freedom Foundation filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Washington state and local 775 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in July. The lawsuit stemmed from the state taking union due payments out of Medicaid payments to the home health care workers on behalf of their clients.
Other states stopped the practice in 2014 after the Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. Quinn that deducting union dues without the express consent of the home health care worker was unconstitutional. The dues, known as “agency fees” for workers not explicitly members of the union, were meant to cut down on free-riding, or benefitting from collective bargaining without financing the union’s activities. (RELATED: Lawsuit: Forced Union Dues Scheme Violates Supreme Court Orders)
“It’s difficult to understate how brazen unions like SEIU can be when it comes to taking other people’s money,” Freedom Foundation director of labor policy Maxford Nelsen told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “In this case, it took two U.S. Supreme Court decisions and a federal class-action lawsuit just to get SEIU 775 to stop seizing 3.2 percent of caregivers’ wages without their permission. And the complicity of the state in this scheme is frankly disgusting.”
The Supreme Court doubled down on the 2014 ruling earlier in 2018. The court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that requiring any public sector worker to pay union dues or fees as a prerequisite for holding a job is unconstitutional.
“The Janus decision had consequences beyond freeing public employees from having to financially support a union,” Nelsen told TheDCNF. “This is probably the biggest secondary victory for workers we’ve seen yet stemming from the Janus case.”
The courtroom victory is the first of its kind to come since Janus was decided, boding badly for any future union or state action aimed at making workers pay union dues without express consent.
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