Should home care workers who were forced to pay union dues unconstitutionally be given a refund?

Home care workers are no longer forced to be part of the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, thanks to the landmark 2014 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn. That led to an effort by workers to recover $32 million in forced dues.

A U.S. District Court in Illinois recently dismissed a case seeking class action status to recover the money.

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Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said the workers will appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

“The union doesn’t deserve to have this money,” Mix said. “This was imposed on care providers by an executive order in the case of then-Governor Blagojevich, then statutorily from Springfield, and it’s just something they shouldn’t get.” 

Mix said if the ruling is allowed to stand, it could lead union bosses to continue bad practices.

“In order to take someone’s money you should have to get their permission,” he said.

Mix said the scheme would be similar to a Republican governor ordering state employees to give some of their pay to the GOP.

“This forced contribution to an organization that some of the state employees might oppose and some of them may be ambivalent about somehow would stand up legally is just ridiculous,” Mix said.

Messages seeking comment from SEIU were not immediately returned.


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