Employee seeks injunctive relief and financial damages in District Court
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (April 28, 2009) – National Right to Work Foundation attorneys today filed suit in United States District Court for an employee forced to pay agency fees by Teamsters officials at a Luzerne County government office.
The plaintiff, Jeffrey McCabe, is currently employed by the Luzerne County Office of Children and Youth Services. Although International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 401 is the monopoly bargaining agent for McCabe’s office, McCabe never joined the union or consented to pay union dues.
Despite McCabe’s nonunion status, Teamsters officials failed to provide him with a federally-mandated breakdown of union expenditures and forced him to pay for union activities unrelated to collective bargaining. Teamsters officials also failed to give McCabe adequate notice of payroll deductions for forced agency fees, preventing him from challenging the Teamsters’ dues collections.
Under the Foundation-won Supreme Court precedent Chicago Teachers Union v. Hudson, union officials are obligated to provide workers with an independent audit of union financial expenditures. Although employees may be forced to pay certain union dues as a condition of employment, they cannot be compelled to fund union activities unrelated to workplace bargaining. An independently-verified financial audit is required by law to ensure nonunion employees are not compelled to pay for non-bargaining activities.
The Foundation’s lawsuit seeks an immediate, court-ordered injunction to prevent further union paycheck deductions, a court order requiring the union to ensure workers have access to information on union expenditures, an order preventing the union from collecting dues unrelated to collective bargaining, and monetary damages for McCabe.
“Giving union officials free reign to deduct money from workers’ paychecks is an open invitation to abuse,” said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Enacting a Pennsylvania Right to Work law to make union dues fully voluntary is the only way to ensure employees are protected from avaricious union bosses.”