The Fairness Center represented Dolly Bernard, a New York State employee who resigned from her union, the Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO (“PEF”), in August 2020, but her resignation was ignored while New York officials continued deducting union dues from her paycheck. Ms. Bernard is a contract management specialist for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Office of Victim Services. She decided that she no longer wanted to be a union member, but the union and the state did not recognize her as a nonmember of the union, nor did they stop taking money from her paycheck. As a result, Ms. Bernard filed a federal lawsuit to vindicate her constitutional rights not to be forced to be associated with or to financially support a union.
After Ms. Bernard filed a federal lawsuit against PEF and the state officials who continued taking dues for the union, the union acknowledged that Ms. Bernard is no longer a union member and refunded, with interest, all the dues taken since the date of her resignation.
Dolly Bernard v. The Public Employees Federation, AFL-CIO; Michael N. Volforte, in his official capacity as Director of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; Thomas P. DiNapoli, in his official capacity as the New York State Comptroller
This case was voluntarily dismissed after the plaintiff received the relief she sought.