The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that in-home care workers in Illinois who are paid by the state are not similar enough to government employees to be compelled to pay union dues.
The court held on a 5-4 vote that plaintiff Pamela Harris and others who provide in-home care for family members and others with disabilities were not full-fledged public employees who could be forced to pay union dues to a public employees union.
The decision left intact the court's 1977 ruling in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. That ruling said unions could collect such compulsory dues used for non-political activities under collective bargaining agreements.
"Abood involved full-fledged public employees, but in this case, the status of personal assistants is much different," conservative Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority.