Alaska Files Lawsuit Against Alaska State Employees Association
In addition to the opinion that was recently released by Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, the state has filed a lawsuit against the Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA), the largest union representing state workers, to clarify the legality behind the state’s decision to stop deducting union dues from employee paychecks.
The lawsuit comes after the ASEA objected and threatened litigation after Clarkson’s opinion was issued. Despite the Supreme Court’s clear directive, ASEA and a number of other unions have contended the ruling only applies to non-members. Workers for Opportunity believes worker freedom and First Amendment rights extend to all public workers.
“The Supreme Court made it clear in Janus that public employees have the freedom to pay union dues or not,” said Attorney General Clarkson. “Janus also requires that the State have clear and compelling evidence of a state employee’s choice to pay union dues. If the State receives a direct request to stop paying union dues, the State must honor that request or else it would be violating the employee’s First Amendment right. Because we want to make sure we are acting in compliance with the Constitution, we are asking the court to confirm the State’s actions in halting dues deductions when directly requested by an employee.”
Workers for Opportunity commends AG Clarkson and the state of Alaska for standing up for worker rights. Alaska can serve as a model for states across the country looking to protect worker rights in accordance with Janus v. AFSCME.