Case Name: International Association of Machinists v. Allen
Type of Case: Right to work
Court: Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals; United States Supreme Court
Case Number: 17-1178; 18-855
Filed On: Became involved 10/11/2018
Current Status: Seventh Circuit struck down dues withholding opt-out period; Petition for en banc rehearing denied; Certiorari petition filed
When Wisconsin became a “right to work” state, employees were finally given the right to quit their union. Wisconsin’s law also provided employees with the right to stop having membership dues automatically deducted from their pay; all they had to do was give their employer 30-days’ notice. That law protects employees who quit their union from being forced to financially support it.
The unions opposed giving employees this freedom and filed a lawsuit, claiming that Wisconsin’s law was pre-empted by federal law. The unions want to force employees, even those who are no longer union members, to keep paying membership dues unless they “opt out” during a short window of time each year. Unfortunately, the trial court sided with the unions and invalidated Wisconsin’s law. A divided panel of the 7th Circuit upheld that ruling, and the state petitioned to have the case heard by the full 7th circuit.
WILL filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center asking the full 7th circuit to hear the case. Unfortunately, the 7th circuit declined.
The State then filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, and WILL filed another amicus brief urging the Court to take the case.
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