An Ohio woman is suing one of the state’s most powerful unions for its continued collection of dues payments over her objections.
Connie Pennington has been forced to pay dues to the Communication Workers of America Local 4502 as part of her job with the city of Columbus, but attempted to sever ties after the Supreme Court declared mandatory dues payments unconstitutional in the 2018 Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees ruling. The union has maintained that workers should not be allowed to leave the union until its contract with the city expires in 2020. The lawsuit filed by Pennington seeks to overturn that policy and allow the union’s 1,400 government workers to exercise their rights immediately, rather than waiting for the 30-day withdrawal window specified in the city’s union contract.
“It impinges upon employees’ First Amendment rights by compelling employees, who do not or no longer want to subsidize CWA’s speech, to subsidize that speech,” the suit says. “Pennington and Class Members are suffering the irreparable harm and injury inherent in a violation of First Amendment rights, for which there is no adequate remedy at law.”