NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Supreme Court Rules Against Unions

July 1, 2014

The Supreme Court struck a blow against public-sector unions in a 5-4 decision on Monday, reports Fox News.

Pamela Harris is the primary caretaker for her son, who has a rare genetic disease. She receives Medicaid funds to care for him, as do 26,000 other workers in Illinois who provide home-based care for the disabled.

In 2003, the state of Illinois passed a law that labeled such workers state employees, eligible for collective bargaining. As a result, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois-Indiana union, which represents home care workers and has a collective bargaining agreement with the state, automatically deducts membership dues from workers' paychecks.

Harris, along with other plaintiffs, sued the state on First Amendment grounds, asking it to stop labor unions from taking fees from workers who do not want union representation. 

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, concluding that home care workers "are different from full-fledged public employees" and ruling that the unions cannot collect fees from the workers who do not want to be a part of a union.

Currently, there are laws in 26 states that require public-sector employees to pay dues to unions, even when the employee does not want to be a part of the union.

Source: "Supreme Court rules against unions in home health care worker case,", June 30, 2014.  


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