Workers' Freedom

WILL has stood up for workers’ rights.  We’ve defended 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 from union attacks and have brought lawsuits forcing local governments to obey the law.  On top of that, we’ve defended Right to Work.

Open Cases

International Association of Machinists v. Wisconsin

We filed amicus briefs in this case (in state court), which challenges a 2015 law making Wisconsin a “right to work” state – in other words, prohibiting employers from requiring their employees to join a union.  The unions argue that they have a property right to non-members’ fees, and the government can’t “take” that property away without compensating them.

International Union of Operating Engineers v. Schimel

We filed amicus briefs in this case (in federal court), which challenges a 2015 law making Wisconsin a “right to work” state – in other words, prohibiting employers from requiring their employees to join a union.  The unions argue that they have a property right to non-members’ fees, and the government can’t “take” that property away without compensating them.

Closed Cases

Madison Teachers v. Walker

2011 Wisconsin Act 10 reformed collective bargaining for public sector employees.  Unions sued to stop it, and WILL got involved by filing amicus briefs on behalf of employees who wanted the freedom to not pay union dues.  Eventually, the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Act 10 constitutional.

Lacroix v. Kenosha Unified School District

Kenosha was one of a few school districts to negotiate with its employee unions in violation of Act 10.  On behalf of a teacher and Kenosha taxpayer, we sued and were successful in having the collective bargaining agreement voided.

WEAC v. Walker

Unions brought this suit in federal court seeking to overturn Act 10, arguing that it made unconstitutional distinctions between general employees and public safety employees.  WILL filed amicus briefs arguing the distinction was justified and if it wasn’t, the proper fix was to remove the exemption for public safety employees.  The 7th Circuit concluded the law was constitutional.

Laborers Local 236 v. Walker

Unions brought this suit in federal court seeking to overturn Act 10, arguing that it violated public employees’ First Amendment rights.  WILL filed amicus briefs countering those arguments.  The 7th Circuit concluded the law was constitutional.

Marone v. MATC

Milwaukee Area Technical College also bargained with its employee unions in violation of Act 10, despite warnings from WILL.  On behalf of an MATC instructor, we sued the school.  The case was eventually dismissed, but not before the college and union conceded that their collective bargaining agreements were void, which is the result we wanted.

Rosno v. WERC

When Judge Colas held the Wisconsin Employment Relation Commission in contempt in the Madison Teachers case for attempting to hold recertification elections, it created confusion around the state.  We sued WERC in another county, seeking a declaration that WERC must hold elections.  WERC stipulated to a judgment directing them to hold such elections, and then the supreme court vacated Colas’s contempt order.

Blaska v. MMSD / Sannes v. MMSD

The Madison Metropolitan School District negotiated with its teachers unions in violation of Act 10.  While that could arguably be excused while the Madison Teachers, Inc. v. Walker case remained pending, once the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Act 10 constitutional, those contracts should be void.  Yet the district continues to enforce them.  We sued to stop them.

KEA v. WERC

After one judge ruled that the Kenosha Education Association was still subject to Act 10, KEA sought a ruling from another judge that it was not subject to Act 10.  We informed that new judge of the ongoing case and binding ruling, criticizing KEA for its blatant forum shopping.  That judge stayed the new case, eventually dismissing it.

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