As the ink dries on reports that a deal has been reached to end asix-day teachers’ strike, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and the Los Angeles School District have been hit with a proposed class action lawsuit filed in the state’s Central District. The plaintiff, an LA school district employee, alleges in the 18-page case that despite notifying the defendants, among whom is California attorney general Xavier Becerra, of her decision to cease paying union dues, the unions have nevertheless continued to deduct dues from her paychecks. According to the lawsuit, the defendants have violated the First Amendment rights of proposed class members by “collecting/deducting union dues from their wages without their knowing consent.”
The plaintiff claims that she signed the UTLA’s dues checkoff authorization in April 2018 as a condition of her employment. At that time, the suit says, the plaintiff had the choice to either join the union as a member or pay union fees even if she was a nonmember. In late-June 2018, the case continues, the United States Supreme Court held thatforced union fee requirements are unconstitutional, meaning public employees held the right under the First Amendment to not have union dues and fees taken from their wages without first providing affirmative consent.
A month after the Supreme Court handed down its decision, the plaintiff notified UTLA in writing of her resignation as a union member and revocation of her consent to have union dues deducted from her pay, the complaint states. According to the lawsuit, UTLA notified the plaintiff thereafter that her request had been denied.