Labor Unions Representing State Employees Sue To Block Paycheck Protection Act Passed In March

May 21—MORGANTOWN — A dozen labor organizations representing public employees have filed suit to block the Paycheck Protection Act, a bill to prohibit public employers from deducting dues or fees for unions, labor organizations and clubs from public employee paychecks.

The bill, HB 2009, passed the Legislature March 19 and was signed into law March 30.

The organizations filing the suit said in a Thursday press release that the Paycheck Protection Act was passed with the sole purpose of retaliating against them.

David Beard, The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.Fri, May 21, 2021, 7:30 PM·2 min read

May 21—MORGANTOWN — A dozen labor organizations representing public employees have filed suit to block the Paycheck Protection Act, a bill to prohibit public employers from deducting dues or fees for unions, labor organizations and clubs from public employee paychecks.

The bill, HB 2009, passed the Legislature March 19 and was signed into law March 30.

The organizations filing the suit said in a Thursday press release that the Paycheck Protection Act was passed with the sole purpose of retaliating against them.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

“As is clearly stated in our circuit court filing, the so-called Paycheck Protection Act discriminates against organized public employees who seek to ensure safe workplaces and fair treatment by their employers, and was passed by this legislative majority purely out of spite, ” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said.

“House Bill 2009 selectively and discriminately prohibits paycheck deductions for public employees and their unions, a practice that has gone on for more than 50 years without a problem, while still allowing hundreds of other paycheck deductions to remain in place, ” he said. “It is blatant vindictiveness, and it’s a violation of these employees’ constitutional rights.”

The petition brought by the 12 organizations and two individuals was filed Thursday in Kanawha Circuit Court. The lawsuit points to violations of equal protection and contracts clauses of the West Virginia Constitution, as well as discrimination against the viewpoints of certain employees and thereby a violation of constitutionally protected free speech.

As The Dominion Post reported during the legislative session, HB 2009 left the House saying any employer—public and private—may not withhold or divert any portions of an employee’s wages or salary to contribute to a candidate, committee or political activity unless the employee gives written permission. It passed 61-36.

The Senate changed it to its final form and passed it 20-13. The House then approved the Senate version in close 55-43 vote, with 20 Republicans voting with the minority.

Sword said, “In a time when our public employees, particularly our police, firefighters, corrections officers and other first responders, have kept us safe and healthy in the face of a deadly pandemic, Gov. Justice and legislative leaders locked the doors of the Capitol, then wasted time and taxpayer moneys on bills like this during this year’s legislative session.”

Along with the AFL-CIO, the organizations joining the suit are: Communications Workers of America, representing workers for the Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration and the State Troopers Association ; District 8 of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union ; West Virginia State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police ; West Virginia School Service Personnel Association ; West Virginia Education Association ; Professional Firefighters of America ; United Mine Workers of America International ; and American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia.

From www.news.yahoo.com