“Under Maine law, public employees are compelled to associate with and speak through a state‐designated labor union for collective bargaining and other related purposes. Under these exclusive representation schemes, state‐designated unions are recognized as public employees’ “sole and exclusive bargaining agents.” Jonathan Reisman is a professor of economics at the University of Maine at Machias, and he has left his designated union, the Associated Faculties of the University of Maine (AFUM). Professor Reisman strongly opposes the union speaking on his behalf yet is still forced to accept the union as his representative.” – The Cato Institute
The United States Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) is currently considering whether to grant certiorari in this case. The Fairness Center filed an amicus brief encouraging the Supreme Court to hear the case, as certain clients of the Fairness Center have been injured by imposition of an exclusive representative into working relationships between employer and employee, showing how important it is for the Supreme Court to weigh in on this issue.
The Fairness Center filed a brief in this case encouraging the Supreme Court to hear the case and also provided free representation to two Pennsylvanians who challenged a similar scheme that began in Pennsylvania in 2015. One client was a homecare worker who has provided in-home care to his employer, whose muscular dystrophy rendered him quadriplegic, for over 25 years; the homecare worker was not a state employee. After Pennsylvania’s governor issued an executive order paving the way for the unionizing of 20,000 private employees like our client who provide in-home care, the Fairness Center filed a lawsuit, Smith v. Wolf, on our clients’ behalf. The Fairness Center’s clients initially succeeded in having the executive order enjoined, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ultimately allowed it to stand as a “permissible exercise of gubernatorial power,” allowing a union to insert itself into the relationship between 20,000 homecare workers and the disabled and elderly persons who employ them—whether they want it or not.
If you believe you have been hurt by a public employee union official and would like to speak with the Fairness Center, please click here.
Jonathan Reisman v. Associated Faculties of the University of Maine, et al.
February 7, 2020