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More public sector employees get union dues refunded after Janus, as lawsuits are filed nationwide

Two nonunion public sector employees in Minnesota have won a settlement and will get their union dues refunded, based on the Supreme Court's ruling on Janus v. AFSCME in June. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Nonunion employees of a court in Minnesota have won a settlement that will see the return of union dues that they were forced to pay without consent.

What are the details?

Carrie Keller and Elizabeth Zeien are employees of Minnesota's Federal Court System. Neither were members of Teamsters Local 320 at the time of their employment, but they were forced to join Teamsters Local 320 in March 2017.

Under the terms of the settlement, the union will refund the entire value of the dues taken from Keller and Zeien since that date.

In a statement, Mark Mix, the president of the National Right to Work Foundation that represented Keller and Zeien, said:

These two workers are among the first of millions of government employees to finally receive justice for the violation of their rights. Thanks to the Foundation’s Janus Supreme Court victory, public sector workers can no longer be coerced into signing away their First Amendment rights to keep their jobs. The Foundation will continue to hold union officials accountable when they attempt to force workers into unconstitutional forced-fees schemes.”

What was Janus v. AFSCME?

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on June 27 that public sector unions do not have a constitutional right to force employees to pay union dues. This ruling was limited to public sector unions and not to those at private companies.

This isn't the first case like this

After the Janus ruling, unions were barred from requiring any dues from nonunion members from that point onward. However, unions across the country did not voluntarily return past dues to nonunion employees.

The National Right to Work Foundation is also involved in several class action lawsuits across the country following the Janus ruling, National Right to Work Vice President for Public Information Patrick Semmens told TheBlaze.

These include a case in Connecticut where two employees are suing for the refund of union dues that they were forced to pay as a condition of their employment at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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