(SALEM, Ore.) –The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Oregon’s largest public-sector labor union, Service Employees International Union 503 (SEIU 503), in two decisions dismissing lawsuits by public sector employees after SEIU 503 forged their signatures on union membership cards.
“These two decisions from the 9th Circuit provide a roadmap for unions to thumb their noses at the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision Janus v. AFSCME,” Freedom Foundation Oregon Director Jason Dudash said.
“According to the 9th Circuit, all the union has to do is claim to have authorization from the employee – prompting the State to take the employees’ wages in the form of union dues,” said Freedom Foundation attorney Rebekah Millard.
“In Ms. Wright’s case, SEIU 503 forged the employees’ signature electronically,” continued Millard. “Despite the fact the court accepted that the forgery took place, the decision means neither the State of Oregon nor the Union have any constitutional duty to obtain consent from the employee.”
The decision is an unadorned get-around of Janus, in which the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot force public employees to pay money to the union unless the employee provides affirmative consent in the form of a waiver of their First Amendment rights.
“The 9th Circuit’s decision in Zielinski v. SEIU 503 is even worse,” said Millard. “The 9th Circuit simply ignored the fact that SEIU 503 forged Mr. Zielinski’s signature twice on two separate dues authorizations. The Court concluded that as long as the union says that it has the employee’s permission, the state may rely on the union’s statement and do nothing to protect the First Amendment rights of public workers.”
“The State of Oregon and SEIU 503 have long demonstrated that they have no respect for workers’ rights,” declared Jason Dudash, Freedom Foundation’s Oregon Director. “Now the 9th Circuit has rubber stamped the state’s decision to let unions take what they want from individual workers – with or without their consent.”
“It’s state-sanctioned fraud, and it’s not the first time the 9thCircuit has all but given the green light to unions to break the law,” continued Dudash.
“The winners here are the Unions who want to keep taking employees’ hard-earned money. The losers are Ms. Wright and Mr. Zielinski – and the other individuals – whose wages are being stolen.”
“The 9th Circuit is trying very hard to keep their crown of being the most overturned court in the country, and we very much look forward to taking these cases on to the Supreme Court”.