Three Minnesota state employees sued one of the state’s largest government unions. The class action lawsuit claims that because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is illegal to require public employees to pay union fees as a condition of employment, past fees should be refunded to workers.
AFSCME Council 5 collected fees for years from workers who did not want to join a union. The lawsuit against AFSCME may net as much as $13 million in recovered fees for 8,000 state and local workers who paid fees to the union prior to the 2018 Supreme Court ruling.
The two class action lawsuits in Minnesota claim that because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is illegal to require public employees to pay union fees as a condition of employment, past fees should be refunded to workers.
“From 1993 to 2018 I was forced to pay AFSCME union dues for a union I never wanted to join in order to work for the state of Minnesota,” said Eric Brown, lead plaintiff of the class action case against AFSCME. “It is time for AFSCME to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling, return the money that was taken out of my paycheck without my permission, and return money to other Minnesota state employees who were victim to this as well.”
The two lawsuits, Brown et al., v. AFSCME Council 5 and Fellows et al., v. MAPE were filed by attorneys from the same nonprofit law firms that brought the U.S. Supreme Court case ending forced union fees, the Liberty Justice Center and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.