Madison teachers union faces lawsuit over planned illegal “sick out”

February 26, 2021

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MADISON, Wis. (Feb. 26, 2021) — Attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center and Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) are warning Madison Teachers Inc. that they face legal repercussions if they move forward with an illegal sick out on Monday.

“Madison Teachers, Inc. leaders are asking their members to falsely call-in sick in order to shut down in-person learning,” said Daniel Suhr, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center. “An organized sick out is a form of strike and illegal in the State of Wisconsin and we are prepared to file a lawsuit to stop this illegal action. Madison students need to be in school, not used as pawns in a publicity stunt.”

Attorneys at public-interest law firms the Liberty Justice Center and WILL notified the union that in the event of an illegal strike, Wisconsin law authorizes students and parents, as well as the school district, to enforce the ban on teacher strikes in court. Liberty Justice Center and WILL plan to file a lawsuit in state court on behalf of Madison parents to stop the strike.

The Liberty Justice Center is a nonprofit law firm that won a pivotal Supreme Court case against government unions in 2018. Their attorneys have taken on illegal teachers strikes across the country, including in Idaho, Virginia, Arizona and most recently in Chicago.

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty is a Milwaukee-based public-interest law firm challenging school closures across the state, including taking action to stop Dane County health department’s order closing all private and public schools in August 2020.

“Teachers unions must be held accountable if they take illegal action to keep students out of school,” said Richard M. Esenberg, President and General Counsel at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. “Madison parents have been fighting to get their children back in school for nearly a year. We will not allow an illegal strike to continue to bar children from the in-person education they deserve.”

Demand letter to Madison Teachers, Inc., Feb. 26, 2021


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