Mattos v. AFSCME Council 3

After Janus, employees do not have to be forced into paying for unions they do not wish to be a part of.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is illegal to require public employees to pay union fees as a condition of employment. In September 2019, Maryland state employees forced to pay these fees prior to the Court’s decision filed a lawsuit, Mattos et al., v. AFSCME Council 3, demanding a refund of their union “agency” or “fair share” fees.

The federal class-action lawsuit filed by 19 state employees against AFSCME Council 3 seeks a refund of non-member fees paid to the union between September 4, 2016, and June 27, 2018 – the period of time permitted under the Maryland statute of limitations. It is estimated these workers and nearly 10,000 other state employees had approximately $7 million taken from their paychecks for “agency” fees during those 22 months. However, many state employees have paid much more in illegal union fees over the course of their public service careers.

“I was never a member of AFSCME and I never wanted anything to do with the union, yet I paid the union more than $2,000 since 2011,” said Gary Mattos, a correctional dietary officer with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for 20 years and lead plaintiff of the new case. “Taking money from hardworking people without their permission is wrong and I was relieved that the Supreme Court agrees. I want my money back and so do many other state employees.”


Riley Stephens

Reilly Stephens

Reilly Stephens is a Counsel at Liberty Justice Center where he assists in cases to protect the rights to free speech, economic liberty, private property, and other Constitutional rights in courts across the country.

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Case In The News

Maryland Matters
September 4, 2019
A group of state government workers on Wednesday sued a public employee union, saying the union improperly collected dues from them even though they never became members....
The Washington Examiner
September 4, 2019

(Washington Examiner) — A group of 19 Maryland state employees have filed a class action suit against their union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 3, seeking $7 million in dues they claim was illegally taken from them. The suit argues the union is acting in defiance...

Case Documents

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Mattos v. AFSCME Council 3


September 30, 2019


U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland




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