The Buckeye Institute and National Right to Work File Suit Demanding Union Return Wages Taken from Cuyahoga Co. Probation Officer

Aug 26, 2021

Columbus, OH – On Wednesday, The Buckeye Institute, in partnership with National Right to Work Foundation, filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on behalf of Kimberlee Warren, a Cuyahoga County Court probation officer who is asking the court to help her recover dues that the Fraternal Order of Police—a union Ms. Warren never joined—illegally took from her paycheck.

“There is no question that Ms. Warren never joined the union,” said Jay R. Carson, senior litigator at The Buckeye Institute. “But that didn’t stop the union from taking dues out of her paycheck—an act that violates Ms. Warren’s First Amendment rights—and refusing to return her funds even after Cuyahoga County acknowledged the money was improperly taken. The notion that a union can simply garnish a nonmember’s paycheck is ludicrous and at odds with years of Supreme Court precedent.”

Ms. Warren has worked as a probation officer for the Cuyahoga County Court system since 1990. During that time, she never joined the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council, the union representing most county probation officers. Even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 landmark decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which held that taking fees from nonmembers was a violation of the First Amendment, the union continued to take money from Ms. Warren, something even Cuyahoga County has acknowledged was done improperly.

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