AFSCME, Council 13 Served with Multiple Lawsuits
Over Alleged Unconstitutional Dues Collection
Youth development aide Ralph Rhodes most recent public employee to
file lawsuit to recover dues taken after his union resignation
July 30, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa.—Youth development aide Ralph Rhodes told American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 13 (AFSCME) in June 2019 that he resigned his union membership. But the union refused to acknowledge his resignation and continued to have money taken from Mr. Rhodes’ paychecks. Seeking to recover approximately twelve months of seized dues, Mr. Rhodes has filed a federal lawsuit against the union.
Mr. Rhodes’ lawsuit is the sixth lawsuit filed by the Fairness Center’s clients against AFSCME affiliates in order to vindicate the firm’s clients’ rights to resign union membership and/or recover union dues seized after their resignation of union membership.
The Fairness Center’s President, Nathan McGrath, released the following statement:
Mr. Rhodes followed all the right steps to resign, and the union refused to honor his resignation. In addition to ignoring his resignation, AFSCME added insult to injury by continuing to take union dues from Mr. Rhodes long after he resigned.
Since the landmark Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31 decision by the United States Supreme Court in 2018, nonmember public employees cannot be compelled to financially support a union as a condition of employment. The court held that no money can be collected unless a nonmember “employee affirmatively consents to pay.” But AFSCME has denied Mr. Rhodes his Janus rights by taking his dues against his will after he resigned his union membership.
This case was filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Fairness Center attorneys are available for comment. Contact Conner Drigotas at 207.205.9133 or [email protected] to schedule an interview.
The Fairness Center is a nonprofit, public interest law firm offering free legal services to those hurt by public-sector union officials. For more information visit www.FairnessCenter.org.