NFIB/MD Applauds SCOTUS Ruling Striking Involuntary Payments to Government Unions

Date: June 30, 2014

(June 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 potentially big victory for small
business in Maryland.


“Governor O’Malley
signed a similar executive order basically turning private sector employees into
public sector union members.  The
Legislature subsequently codified that order with a law that the Governor
signed.  So this ruling raises a big
question about the constitutionality of Maryland’s mandate,” said NFIB State
Director Jessica Cooper


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.  Maryland and several other states now have similar mandates
in place. 


private sector employees to pay union dues is an extraordinary measure that
strikes most people as highly unfair,” said Cooper.  “The court’s
decision today appears to invalidate the Maryland
executive order and now the Legislature may be forced to address the issue.”  


The state
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
their money.


sector labor unions have been shrinking as a percentage of the workforce and
this was a way to artificially boost their numbers,” said Cooper.  “Based on the Supreme Court ruling I’m not sure the Maryland scheme can withstand a
challenge.  It should be repealed


workers to pay unions that use the money for their own political activities is
a serious violation of the First Amendment,” she continued.  “It’s a serious abuse of constitutional
rights and the Maryland Legislature should address it.”


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