A group of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3790 members have filed a lawsuit alleging that New Jersey’s strict restrictions on allowing a public employee to quit their union is unconstitutional.
The legal action, filed against Gov. Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, claims that the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act, signed into law on May 17, was intended to preempt the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v AFSCME. The decision says that public employees could not be forced to pay union dues unless they consent.
“There are over 300,000 New Jerseyans whose rights were reaffirmed by Janus,” said Erica Jedynak, Americans for Prosperity Foundation-New Jersey State Director. “We’re excited to partner with the Mackinac Center’s My Pay My Say campaign to make sure that rank and file members like these plaintiffs have their rights recognized and respected. Constitutional rights cannot be limited by time.”
Three municipal employees from Lakewood filed the suit, along with the Mackinac Center or Public Policy.
“As someone who has personally committed my time and energy to stewarding my local union, I fully believe that unions can play a positive role in the workplace,” said former AFSCME Local 3790 president Mike Thulen, Jr., one of the plaintiffs. “We are simply asking that our labor leaders spend more time serving their members in that capacity rather than erecting arbitrary barriers meant to hold us hostage.”
Americans for Prosperity Foundation of New Jersey joined with the My Pay My Say campaign after the Janus decision to offer a New Jersey-focused awareness effort.