30, 2014) – The US
Supreme Court today ruled that states cannot force home care providers to join
labor unions in a decision that the National Federation of Independent
Business (NFIB) called a major victory for small business in Massachusetts.
“If the state
can force home health care workers to join unions or pay union dues simply
because their clients received public subsidies, then it could eventually try
to coerce other types of businesses under the same pretense,” said NFIB
State Director Bill Vernon. “This has major implications for the law
in Massachusetts that is modeled after the Illinois law that was struck
The case, Harris
v. Quinn, originated in Illinois and focused on whether states can force
non-union home care workers to join labor unions if their clients receive
public subsidies to purchase those services. That’s the basis on which
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued an executive order in 2003 designating home
care workers as “public employees” even though they work for private sector
businesses. Massachusetts and several other states now have
similar laws in place.
workers to join unions is fundamentally unfair under any circumstances,” said Vernon.
“But it is absolutely chilling that government can reclassify private sector
workers as government workers simply because public money is indirectly
provides billions in subsidies to millions of residents under hundreds of
different programs. They use it to purchase goods and services from
private sector businesses of every variety and they’re all private transactions
between private citizens and private sector businesses. Workers in those
businesses cannot be forced into unions because of where their customers get
“Only a small
fraction of the private sector workforce in Massachusetts is unionized because
workers don’t want to join,” said Vernon.
“These laws are a sneaky way for labor unions, through their political allies,
to force workers to become union members who would not join voluntarily. But
now those laws are unconstitutional as well as sneaky.”
To learn more about NFIB
please visit www.nfib.com.