Two Rulings Reject Union Boss Attempts to Attack Michigan Employees’ Right to Work without Paying Union Dues
State Supreme Court and Federal District Court both rule against union challenges to Right to Work protections for public- and private-sector employees
Detroit, MI (July 31, 2015) – Today, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan has issued an order dismissing an AFL-CIO legal challenge to Michigan's recently-enacted private-sector Right to Work law. Meanwhile, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state’s Civil Service Commission has no authority to require state employees to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, responded to these developments with the following statement:
“Despite union lawyers’ best efforts, two spurious attempts to undermine Michigan’s popular Right to Work laws have failed. In both cases, Foundation staff attorneys filed briefs for Michigan employees who opposed any attempt to restore union officials’ forced-dues privileges.”
“Thanks to these decisions, Michigan civil servants and private-sector employees will continue to enjoy Right to Work protections, which ensure that they cannot be fired for refusing to join or pay dues to a union. Any Michigan workers who need help exercising their right to cut off union dues or fees should immediately contact the National Right to Work Foundation for free legal aid.”
In the public sector case, National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys submitted an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief for Thomas Haxby, an employee of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. After Michigan's Right to Work law went into effect, Haxby resigned his membership in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 517M, one of the unions that filed the suit, and opted out of paying union dues.
Responding to the AFL-CIO’s legal challenge to Michigan’s private-sector Right to Work law, Foundation staff attorneys also filed a brief for four Michigan employees, all of whom were employed in workplaces covered by a forced-dues contract between their employers and unions before the Right to Work law was enacted.
Prior to enactment of the Right to Work laws, the four workers could be forced to pay union dues or fees to keep their jobs, despite the fact they were not union members and opposed a union presence.
Private-sector Michigan employees seeking to learn about their rights under Right to Work should read the Foundation’s special legal notice: http://www.nrtw.org/en/special-legal-notice-michigan-private-sector-work...
Public-sector Michigan employees seeking to learn about their rights under Right to Work should read the Foundation’s special legal notice: http://www.nrtw.org/en/special-legal-notice-michigan-public-workers-righ...
Any employee who needs help exercising his or her rights can contact the Foundation for free legal aid by calling 1-800-336-3600 or through the Foundation’s website: http://www.nrtw.org/legal.htm