Two University of California employees filed a federal lawsuit in Los Angeles, alleging union dues were illegally deducted from their paychecks despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that public workers are not required to pay fees to the unions representing them, it was announced Thursday.
Cara O’Callaghan has worked as the finance manager of the Sport Club program at UC Santa Barbara since 2009, and Jenee Misraje has been an administrative assistant at UCLA since 2015, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles.
Both O’Callaghan and Misraje resigned union membership over the past year and demanded the universities stop deducting union dues from their paychecks, the suit alleges.
A UC spokeswoman said the university had not yet received the complaint, “therefore it would be premature for us to comment.”
Despite the high court’s ruling for workers’ rights last June, the plaintiffs’ requests have been ignored, the suit alleges. UC continues to deduct dues from O’Callaghan and Misraje’s paychecks and their union, Teamsters Local 2010, refuses to honor their resignation until arbitrary opt-out periods are over, according to the complaint.
“This is a blatant violation of Ms. O’Callaghan and Ms. Misraje’s First Amendment rights,” said Brian Kelsey, senior attorney at the Liberty Justice Center, which helped file the lawsuit along with the California Policy Center.
“The union is limiting workers’ constitutional right to resign to short time periods they’ve unilaterally defined,” Kelsey said. “The University of California is abandoning any responsibility to protect workers’ rights and is supporting the union’s efforts to collect money from university employees without their permission.”
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