The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which encompasses 2 million members in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, does not have to pay back more than $34 million in dues collected from thousands of home health care workers who were forced into the union, a Michigan court ruled recently.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that SEIU Healthcare Michigan does not have to pay back the dues collected from more than 40,000 home health care workers, even though many of them were forced into the union under state requirements that they join because they were taking care of sick family members at home, a Fox News report indicates.
The SEIU lobbied for the plan in multiple states that classified unpaid family members as “home health care workers.” Dues were then automatically collected from the beneficiaries’ Medicare or Medicaid checks.
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s motion to have the case dismissed because the union had paid back dues to two union members who previously filed suit demanding dues they were forced to pay be returned. The union overpaid the money the members sought, which some say was a “devious move” by the union in an attempt to hold onto the millions it took from other members.
The Michigan court also said it dismissed the case because the law had changed and “to allow appellants to process with this appeal to vindicate the possible interests of third parties would improperly allow them to litigate abstract questions of law in which they are no longer interested parties.”
Recently, the SEIU was part of a landmark election in Minnesota, where home health care workers across the state voted in favor of a union. The SEIU, which organized the election, will represent an estimated 27,000 home health care workers in the state.
The union also won its fight for $14 minimum wage for Washington state home care workers earlier this month.
Written by Emily Study