In a continuing string of defeats for the Obama administration and his allies, the Supreme Court dealt a split decision ruling that mandatory public dues to labor unions violate workers First Amendment rights.
The case Harris v. Quinn was about whether Pamela Harris, a home care worker in Illinois who takes care of her disabled son. In Illinois healthcare workers are unionized through the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). However, Harris, along with many other private homecare workers have chosen to not join the union, opting instead to directly negotiate with the clients who are Medicaid recipients over the amount of reimbursement.
Unlike private entities, in this case the employer is the government. Because of this, Harris argued that by forcing her to join the union she was essentially engaging in political activity since when the SEIU was engaged in collective bargaining.
The Supreme Court agreed with Harris that home caregivers are different than public employees in that they negotiate directly with customers and not the state. As such, they cannot be compelled to join a union if they do not wish to.
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