On October 2, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan threw out a request by union lawyers for a preliminary injunction against the Michigan Civil Service Commission’s (MiCSC) new rule upholding employee’s freedom of choice as outlined by Janus v. AFSCME.
The court referenced arguments that it first brought up in the case in an amicus brief that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Ray LaJeunesse filed. Foundation President Mark Mix offered his perspective on the ruling:
“The District Court was absolutely right in rejecting union officials’ attempt to block the Civil Service Commission’s commonsense rule to ensure the state is not deducting union dues from public employees in violation of their First Amendment rights. As pointed out in our amicus brief to the court, not only are the union lawyers’ arguments wrong on the merits of the issue, but a recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision specifically forecloses their ability to even bring one of their two claims in this lawsuit.”
The new MiCSC rule now mandates Michigan state agencies to annually receive the consent of state employees before taking dues from them. In addition, this rule change reminds employees that they have the right to not pay forced union dues. On top of that, the rule change helps guarantee that the state is not seizing dues from any state employee who has not explicitly and affirmatively waived his or her First Amendment rights, as outlined by the Supreme Court in Janus.
The National Right to Work Committee will not be going away anytime soon. Since its founding in 1955, NRTW has been one of America’s leading labor watchdogs in the nation. Its legal arm was founded in 1988 and has helped litigate hundreds of cases involving employees fighting off compulsory union membership.