The article reports:
Home health aides in Illinois are fighting to recoup $32 million that was taken out of their paychecks in a coercive unionization scheme that the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional.
More than 80,000 home healthcare workers were forced to pay Service Employees International Union (SEIU) hundreds of dollars each year under a policy devised by the now-imprisoned Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Illinois declared that the aides, many of whom were caring for disabled relatives, were public employees since their compensation came through state Medicaid funds.
Pamela Harris, who provided care to a severely disabled daughter, sued the state and union arguing that the arrangement wrongfully deducted money from her check. The Supreme Court ruled in her favor in Harris v. Quinn, declaring the arrangement unconstitutional in 2014.
Some of the healthcare workers in Illinois have filed a class-action suit to get the money that was taken from them returned.
The article further reports:
Workers in Illinois stopped paying SEIU following the suit and now some are waging a class action lawsuit to make the union return deducted cash. Lawyers from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which argued Quinn v. Harris before the Supreme Court, have now taken the battle to federal appeals court. National Right to Work Foundation president Mark Mix said failing to return the money to the aides would set a dangerous precedent, incentivizing unions to continue pushing for forced dues collections.
“If SEIU bosses are not required to return the money they seized in violation of homecare providers’ First Amendment Rights, it will only encourage similar behavior from union officials eager to trample on the First Amendment to enrich themselves at the expense of tens of thousands of homecare providers,” he said in a release.
SEIU, which did not return request for comment, has said that it should not be required to pay back the workers because not all workers opposed union representation. A district court judge ruled in June that individual plaintiffs could recoup several thousand dollars paid to the union beginning in 2008, but nixed the class action status filed on behalf of all the home health aides.
The union is arguing that many of the workers did not object to the arrangement and would have paid the dues if they had been given a choice. So why then weren’t they given a choice? Hopefully the healthcare workers who had their money stolen will be able to get it back.