Social worker sues union, says they violated constitutional rights

Social worker sues union, says they violated constitutional rights

 

Francisco Molina was a social worker in Lehigh County for 14 years.

They fall under the SEIU local 668 Union, of which, Mr. Molina was a shop steward. Now, he's suing them for violating his constitutional rights.

"I should have the freedom to join a union, and I should have the freedom not to be a member," said Molina.

It all started in 2018 when the union called a meeting in anticipation of the Janus supreme court ruling giving members the right to reject union dues. That's when they updated their member cards.

"And this new membership card, among other things, appeared to obligate members to pay the union full dues even if they resigned as members," said attorney David Osborne.

Osborne is representing Molina. He explains that in Pennsylvania, there is maintenance of membership law that bars union members from leaving until the last 15 days of their collective bargaining agreement.

"Pennsylvania is relatively unique in how it treats union members. They're often restricted from resigning until this 15-day period," said Osborne.

Molina refused to sign.

"He sends a letter to the union, certified mail, and he says I'm resigning from my union, dues deductions should automatically cease," said Osborne.

According to Molina, the union never replied. Fast-forward two months...

"So the county informed Mr. Malino that he was being dismissed because he violated the conflict of interest policy that they had," said Osborne.

Molina thinks it was retaliation.

"How he did that? He still doesn't know," said Osborne.

"I have 14 years with the county, I've never been disciplined, there was nothing in my record," said Molina.

WFMZ reached out to the union, but they said they had not yet received the lawsuit.

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