States Sue Trump Administration Over Home Care Worker Union Dues

At least five states are suing the Trump administration over a recently finalized rule they say would prevent home health workers paid by Medicaid from having their union dues automatically removed from their paychecks, according to Reuters.

States involved in the lawsuit include California, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon. The states claim the rule weakens labor unions and their bargaining abilities.

The states’ action comes in response to a rule finalized by the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) last week.

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When CMS announced the final rule, the agency said “nothing in this rule would interfere with an employer’s ability to make payroll deductions that are required by law or voluntary deductions for things like health and life insurance … and union dues.”

Supreme Court rejects home care workers’ appeal

In other legal news, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review the constitutionality of a Minnesota law that allows home care providers to join labor unions, according to legal publication Law360.

The high court rejected an appeal that claimed a 2013 Minnesota law violates workers’ constitutional rights. The law makes the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) the workers’ official representative.

The group of home care workers who brought the suit are not state employees but receive state Medicaid funds. They argued that they should not be forced to be affiliated with a union against their wishes — nor should they be required to let SEIU be their official voice when negotiating with state officials.

However, last year, the Eighth Circuit ruled the law is constitutional because home care workers may “form their own advocacy groups independent of the exclusive representative, and it does not require any provider to join the union.”

Because the Supreme Court declined to review the case, the Eighth Circuit court’s ruling still stands.

Meanwhile, these caregiver union disputes are just a few of several making headlines as of late. For example, in Connecticut, legislators are considering a bill that would make caregivers’ information publicly available.

Opponents argue the bill would hurt more than 35,000 employees by making their information available to unions. Agency owners in California — where labor unions will be able to access caregivers’ information starting this July — have vocalized similar concerns.


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