Supreme Court rules against unions in home healthcare worker case | Fox News

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Monday that public sector unions cannot collect fees from home health care workers who don't want to be part of a union.

The decision was handed down Monday by the Supreme Court in its final session of its nine-month term.

The case, which deals with home care workers in Illinois, could eliminate automatic dues deductions for public sector unions.

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 Employee 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.

Labor unions argue that if Illinois is allowed to back out of its collective bargaining agreement, it would be only be a matter of time before workers see their wages cut and benefits dropped.

Union leaders also fear that conservative judges across the country will use the ruling in Harris’ case to strike down laws in 26 states that currently require public-sector employees such as teachers and police officers, to fork over dues to the unions that negotiate contracts on their behalf even if the employee doesn’t want to become a union member.