The ruling is a setback for labor unions that have boosted their bargaining power -- as well as their bank balance -- in states like Illinois, by signing up thousands of in-home care workers and forcing them to fork over union dues.
The case, which deals with home care workers in Illinois, could eliminate automatic dues deductions for public-sector unions. The court also ruled on a challenge by for-profit businesses, including art-and-crafts company Hobby Lobby, regarding the requirement in ObamaCare to provide free contraceptive coverage.
In the union case, plaintiff Pamela Harris serves as the primary caretaker for her son, Josh, who has a rare genetic syndrome. She receives Medicaid funds and essentially functions as a state employee.
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois-Indiana, the union that represents publicly employed home care workers, automatically deducts membership dues from employees’ paychecks under the collective bargaining agreement it has with the state.
Harris, as well as a handful of other personal care providers, sued Illinois, demanding it stop labor unions from collecting fees from workers who refuse representation. They argue that forcing them to pay the fees violates their First Amendment rights.
Writing for the court, Associate Justice Samuel Alito said home care workers are different from other types of government employees because they work primarily for their disabled or elderly customers and do not have most of the rights and benefits of state employees.
The case involves about 26,000 Illinois workers who provide home care for disabled people and are paid with Medicaid funds administered by the state. In 2003, the state passed a measure deeming the workers state employees eligible for collective bargaining. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/06/30/supreme-court-rules-against-unions-in-home-healthcare-worker-case/
This case is a rebuke for the Democrats in Illinois who stronged-armed the plaintiffs by passing a law forcing them into a union or pay union dues by making them State employees.
What is shocking is that the vote was 5-4- it should have been 9-0.