The Neighbor: Moline-Coal Valley School District employee sues over union dues deductions

April 30, 2019 — An employee of the Moline-Coal Valley School District has filed a federal lawsuit against the district and the state’s largest public sector union, claiming both refused to stop deducting union dues from her paycheck months after she left the union.

Susan Bennett, a custodian who has worked for the Moline-Coal Valley School District since 2009, withdrew from her union shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2018 that forced union dues as a condition of employment violated the First Amendment. The high court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 struck down forced union fees as unconstitutional.

Bennett alleged the school district refused to stop deducting union dues from her paychecks in the lawsuit, which was filed in the Central District of U.S. District Court.

“Since November 2018, the union and the school district have been fully aware they do not have permission to collect money from my paycheck,” Bennett said in a press release from the nonprofit law firm that is representing her. “I submitted my resignation as soon as I could after learning about the decision. The union did not inform me of my rights after the Janus decision, and I should not have to wait months to exercise them.”

In the suit, she said the district was forcing her to wait until an enrollment period to withdraw, based on the union agreement she entered into before the Janus decision.

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