FILE - Mark Janus at SCOTUS

Mark Janus, the plaintiff in Janus vs. AFSCME, speaks to supporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.

(The Center Square) – A Hamilton city employee won’t have to contribute to a union after union leaders backed away from collecting administrative fees and refunded previously collected money.

Timothy Crane sued in December to stop the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 20 from collecting the fees, which he termed dues, as a condition of employment. He claimed the fee requirement violated his rights under an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision. An out-of-court settlement ends the practice and returns Crane’s money, according to the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation.

Crane’s lawsuit argued the agreement administration fee requirement violated his constitutional rights after the 2018 Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision. In that case, the court ruled no public worker can be coerced into paying union dues or fees as a condition of getting or keeping a job, according to the foundation. The court also said a public employee must waive his right to say no to having union dues or fees deducted from his paycheck.

Crane sent IUOE letters in August and September to try to end dues deductions from his paycheck. After sending those letters, he noticed an agreement administration fee was being deducted by the city for the union, according to the lawsuit.

Crane’s suit is the fifth time the foundation has prevailed either in court or with a settlement for Ohio employees who have used the Janus decision to challenge union action.

“Once again, a Foundation-backed Ohio public employee has prevailed over a duplicitous attempt by union officials to keep worker money flowing illegally into their pockets while trampling workers’ First Amendment rights,” said Mark Mix, foundation president. 

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.