State, SEIU can't force workers to pay

EAST HARTFORD - Harris v. Quinn, one of the Supreme Court decisions announced earlier today, has distinct implications for Connecticut workers. In that case, the justices ruled that it is a violation of First Amendment rights to force home healthcare workers to pay union dues. This holding effectively invalidates the 2012 law requiring Connecticut’s home health care workers to unionize – as well as the earlier executive orders signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

“This is a significant ruling,” said Carol Platt Liebau, president of The Yankee Institute. “Vindicating the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of association, the Supreme Court made two facts crystal clear: Home health care workers work for their elderly or disabled patients – not the state – and private homes are not union shops.” She noted, “Obviously, this opinion does not prohibit any worker from paying union fees if he wishes to do so. But no longer can the state force home health care workers to join a union and pay dues against their will.”

As a result of Gov. Malloy’s executive orders and subsequent legislation, more than 10,000 home health care workers were involuntarily unionized, earning SEIU more than $1 million in fees.

“The Yankee Institute congratulates Connecticut’s home health care workers on regaining the power to decide for themselves whether they wish to unionize,” said Liebau. “This is a victory for freedom and opportunity in Connecticut.”

In 2012, The Yankee Institute backed lawsuits opposing the forced unionization of home healthcare workers and daycare owners on First Amendment and other grounds.

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