In January 2018, Francisco Molina and others within his bargaining unit were asked to sign new union membership cards. At the time, the SEIU informed membership that it needed new cards because the existing cards were “invalid” and the new cards would be “litigation proof.” The new cards would obligate members to pay dues, regardless of membership status—that is, even if they were no longer members.
Mr. Molina, who had once been a shop steward, refused to sign the new membership card and urged others to read the language in the card and make a decision for themselves. Union leadership believed that he was steering others, including new hires, away from union membership. After Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, Mr. Molina became more vocal in his opposition to the union, even addressing the Lehigh County Commissioners in a public comment session.
By letter to the SEIU, dated July 16, 2018, Mr. Molina resigned from Local 668 and demanded that dues deductions stop immediately. He copied his employer and obtained return receipts.
Francisco Molina v. Pennsylvania Social Service Union, Service Employees International Union, Local 668; Stephen Catanese, in his official capacity as President of Pennsylvania Social Service Union, Service Employees International Union, Local 668; Lehigh County Board of Commissioners; Lehigh County Office of Children and Youth Services; Phil Armstrong, in his official capacity as County Executive of Lehigh County; and M. Judith Johnston, in her official capacity as Director of Human Resources of Lehigh County