Reprinted from The New York Times by The Associated Press on July 30, 2018.
An Oregon state employee and a labor union have reached a settlement over her lawsuit seeking payback of obligatory union fees, marking the first refund of forced fees since the US Supreme Court ruled in late June that government workers can’t be required to contribute to labor groups, the employee’s lawyers said Monday.
Debora Nearman, a systems analyst with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in her lawsuit filed in April in federal court that the state’s practice of forcing her to pay fees to fund union activity violated her First Amendment freedoms. She said the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, opposes her political and religious views and even led a campaign against her husband Mike when he successfully ran as a Republican candidate for the state Legislature in 2016.
Nearman is a member of a state-wide bargaining unit represented by SEIU but doesn’t belong to the union. …