* We already discussed Tuesday’s ruling by the 7th Circuit Appellate Court ruling on Janus v. AFSCME regarding Janus’ attempt to recover fair share fees he’d paid over the years. The court also ruled the same day on a similar case filed against the IEA…
Stacey Mooney is a public-school teacher in Eureka (Illinois) Community School District #140. She is not a member of respondent Illinois Education Association (“IEA”), the union that serves as the exclusive representative of her employee unit in collective bargaining with the school district. From the time she started as a public employee until June 2018, the District deducted from her paycheck and sent to the union a fair-share fee that contributed to the costs incurred by the union in its labor-management activities. Both the Illinois Public Relations Act, 5 ILCS § 315/6, and existing Supreme Court precedent, Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Educ., 431 U.S. 209 (1977), authorized this fee arrangement.
That state of affairs came to an end when, in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, 138 S. Ct. 2448 (2018), the Supreme Court overruled Abood and announced that compulsory fair-share fee arrangements violate the First Amendment rights of persons who would prefer not to associate with the union that represents their employee unit. 138 S. Ct. at 2460. Following Janus, state employers in Illinois immediately ceased deducting fair-share fees from the paychecks of nonmembers of public sector unions.
Mooney filed suit in the Central District of Illinois on behalf of herself and a putative class of similarly situated persons, seeking restitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the fees that had been deducted from her pay prior to Janus. The district court entered judgment for IEA on April 23, 2019, dismissing Mooney’s claims with prejudice. In so doing, it joined the consensus across the country concluding that unions that collected fair-share fees prior to Janus, in accordance with state law and Abood, are entitled to assert a good-faith defense to section 1983 liability.
We heard oral argument on Mooney’s case on September 20, 2019, in conjunction with Janus v. AFSCME, No. 19-1553. We now affirm the judgment of the district court, largely for the reasons set forth in our opinion of today’s date in Janus v. AFSCME, No. 19-1553.
* From the IEA…
The IEA is gratified that the Seventh Circuit has joined the unanimous view of more than 15 courts that have considered this issue, and in doing so have sided with educators in Illinois. These legal attacks are without merit and are solely focused on taking away the freedoms of working people to have a collective voice in the workplace. The court got it right. We will continue to fight to protect the rights of our union
* Appeals court says Janus not entitled to recover fair share fees: “The three-judge panel ruled, just as the district court before them, that the union acted in good faith under the law and court precedent that existed at the time to represent every member and to collect only those fair share fees from individuals who chose not to join the union,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall. Lindall said that since last year’s Supreme Court decision, there have been 20 cases filed by people trying to recoup fair share fees from public unions. Unions have prevailed in every one of them, he said.
* Non-Union Workers Can’t Get Fair-Share Fee Refund After Janus: AFSCME had a legal right to charge fair-share fees collected from nonmembers until Janus, the court said. “Mr. Janus has received all that he is entitled to: declaratory and injunctive relief, and a future free of any association with a public union,” it said.