The National Right to Work Foundation filed an amicus brief in a federal class-action lawsuit currently pending before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals filed by Maryland teachers against the Maryland State Education Association.
Foundation staff attorneys argue in the brief, filed on July 22, that the court should reject union officials’ claims that they should not be required to refund unlawfully seized union fees, subject to the statute of limitations. The landmark Janus v. AFSCME case argued and won at the U.S. Supreme Court by Foundation staff attorneys established that the Constitution protects public workers from being forced to subsidize a union activities and that any union dues taken without a workers affirmative consent violates the First Amendment.
The brief reads in part:
The bottom line is that good faith is not a defense to a deprivation of First Amendment rights under Janus… The Union Appellees lack a cognizable basis for asserting a good faith defense. The district court’s judgment should be reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.
Read the complete amicus brief here.
This is not the first time Foundation staff attorneys have filed an amicus brief in such a case. In June, the Foundation filed an amicus brief on behalf of Ohio Department of Taxation employee Nathaniel Ogle, whose case is ongoing.
Foundation staff attorneys are also currently litigating the same issue before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of Mark Janus, lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case. There, briefing is complete and it is likely that the Seventh Circuit will be the first Appellate Court to rule on the dues refund issue.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.