The Orange County Board of Supervisors granted the Freedom Foundation’s request to formally consider whether to provide all new incoming IHSS providers a written and oral notice of their First Amendment rights in relation to their union.
By way of background, the Supreme Court in 2014 decided that the First Amendment prohibits the enforcement of compelled union fee obligations against partial public employees. One would assume that after such a ruling, public sector unions would fairly comply and educate providers on their newfound rights.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors recognized this and courageously plans to set forth new guidelines in a post-Harris world. If you are a new provider, you will be read and advised on your right to work during your initial orientation session.
You do not have to join a union as a condition of your employment.
This is a potential win for more government transparency and for all future IHSS providers as they go about their business of taking care of loved ones. The Freedom Foundation discovered that many providers were not being advised properly.
They were lied to, coerced into, and in some cases, had their signatures forged to joining a union.
The significance of this moment cannot be understated. The freedom of information is useless unless one is given the courage and power to act. The Board of Supervisors are on the cusp of giving that power back into the hands of the people.