News Release: Minnesota State Employees Sue AFSCME Council 5 and MAPE for $19 Million in Illegally Confiscated Union Fees


May 11, 2020


Katie Fulkerson, 812-369-1751

[email protected] 

Minneapolis, MN – Minnesota state employees filed two class action lawsuits seeking a refund for $19 million in union fees illegally confiscated from their paychecks by AFSCME Council 5 and Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE). The two lawsuits, Brown et al. v. AFSCME Council 5 and Fellows et al. v. MAPE were filed Friday by the Upper Midwest Law Center, Liberty Justice Center, and National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the practice of collecting mandatory union fees from government employees as a condition of employment in the Janus v. AFSCME decision. Now, government employees are free to work without paying fees to a union they do not support.

Doug Seaton of the Upper Midwest Law Center said, “The Upper Midwest Law Center is proud to be joining LJC again in these cases to fight for Minnesota public employees’ right to say no to supporting government unions, a right established under the Janus decision. The UMLC has successfully represented public employees in several similar cases, and looks forward to winning these and other Janus-related cases we have underway and in planning. Public employees can’t be held against their will and have their pay taken any longer by government unions.”

“Today, Minnesota’s state employees are standing up against two of the state’s most powerful unions to demand their money back,” explained Catrin Wigfall, policy fellow at Center of the American Experiment specializing in labor policy. “Ever since Janus was decided, Center of the American Experiment has been helping Minnesotans like these fight for their rights to keep their whole paychecks. It’s exciting to see the Janus case being enforced.”


Related News

This week, the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) announced a lawsuit in Minnesota District Court against the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Commissioner Steve Grove that alleges Commissioner Grove, acting in his official capacity but using his personal Twitter account, blocked his constituents and then refused to provide his “block list” in response to journalist Tony Webster’s data request.
Today, the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) announced the filing of a new lawsuit in the United States District Court of Minnesota against the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on behalf of Officer Rodney Maki, a nearly twenty-four-year law-enforcement employee of the bank. The Bank fired Maki in January 2022 because of Maki’s religious objections to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sign up for email updates

Get on the list for Upper Midwest Law Center email updates.

Social updates

Stay up to date by following us on social media.

Tell us your story

Perhaps you have another issue you wish to bring to our attention. Share your story with us.