Public sector workers sue for union dues refund



Recently the Supreme Court ruled  that unions could not require dues from nonunion members as a prerequisite for employment. So now these workers have filed several lawsuits in an attempt to recover paying past union dues, before the case, Janus v. AFSCME,  was decided. June 27, the Supreme Court ruled that public sector unions do not have a constitutional right to force employees to pay union dues. This ruling was limited to public sector unions and not to those at private companies.


The class action lawsuit was filed by attorneys for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, on behalf of two employees who work for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Kiernen Wholean and James Grillo were not members of DEEP’s Service Employees International Union Local 2001, and they never gave permission for union dues to be taken from their checks.

But  they were still forced to pay union dues as a condition of their employment.

Their lawsuit further argues that  anyone who was employed by DEEP for any period of time — from June 13, 2015, to June 21, 2018 — should Supreme Court noted that unions had been “on notice” since 2012.get a refund on the union dues that they had to pay for the past three years. Janus was decided on June 27.

And in the Janus case, according to the Supreme Court, noted that unions had been “on notice” since 2012.

Even though the Supreme Court determined that it was illegal to collect mandatory dues from nonunion public sector employees, unions have not automatically refunded past dues to nonunion employees.

Also the National Right to Work has filed another lawsuit on behalf of a union worker after the Janus ruling.

And back in July, the National Right to Work won a case involving an employee of Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.  That case involved an employee’s husband who was running  as a Republican for state office. The Department’s union, SEIU Local 503, collected dues from that employee while it was running attack ads against her husband, forcing her to support an effort to undermine her husband’s candidacy. In that instance, the employee was refunded nearly $3,000 worth of mandatory dues.

But why should just public union employees get their money back? Why not include those in the private sector? Isn’t it about time the Right to Work group, file suits for those workers too? This ruling is one sided.