IUOE v. Schimel

Case Name: International Union of Operating Engineers

Type of Case: Right to Work

Court: E.D. Wisconsin District Court; Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Number: 16-cv-590 (District Court); 16-3736 & 16-3834 (Circuit Court)

Current Status: Court of Appeals ruling in favor of RTW; en banc petition denied

On March 9, 2015, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation making Wisconsin the 26th “Right to Work” state.  The law prohibits employers from forcing their employees to join or financially support a union.  The law protects workers from being required to support political organizations they don’t agree with.

Unions filed suit challenging the law – this time in federal court.  They argue that they have a constitutionally-protected “property interest” in the dues paid by non-members, and the government can’t take that away without giving them something in return.  That argument has been rejected repeatedly across the country, because the unions do get something in return – they get the right of exclusive representation, meaning they don’t have to compete with another union in the same shop and don’t have to worry about an employer giving non-members better treatment.

In partnership with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, we filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center and four individual non-union member employees.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Right to Work and denied a petition for rehearing en banc.

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