After Years of Paying Illegal Union Fees, Government Workers Seek Refunds


After successfully leading a nationwide charge against government-sanctioned union mandates, Mark Janus could end up back before the Supreme Court.

In a continuation of his legal case, the former child support specialist for the Illinois government asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that union officials must refund thousands of dollars in union fees taken from his paycheck.

But a three-judge panel of the appeals court ruled in November that Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees could keep the fees it collected from Janus.

Janus asked for a refund of fees the union collected prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark June 2018 decision in his favor, the 7th Circuit panel explained, saying it was not clear whether that decision was meant to be retroactive.

In Janus v AFSCME, the Supreme Court decided that under the First Amendment government workers cannot be forced either to join a union or pay union fees as a nonunion member. The decision affects about 5 million government employees in 22 states who no longer are required to financially support the political activism of public employee unions.

Janus has petitioned the full 7th …read more