Schlaud v. Snyder, No. 12-1105 (6th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs receive subsidies for providing home childcare services for low-income families. A union was established and authorized to bargain on their behalf, based on submission of 22,180 valid provider-signed authorization cards out of a possible 40,532 eligible providers. A collective bargaining agreement was executed; the state began deducting union dues and fees from subsidy payments. Plaintiffs filed a purported class-action lawsuit for the return of the money, alleging violation of their First Amendment rights. The district court denied certification of the proposed class (all Michigan home childcare providers) based on conflict of interest: some members voted for representation and others voted against representation. Plaintiffs proposed a subclass of only providers who did not participate in any election related to union representation. The district court rejected the proposal, stating that it could not assume that all members of the subclass opposed representation and that, even if they did, their reasons were different enough to create conflict within the class. The Sixth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court remanded for further consideration in light of its 2014 decision, Harris v. Quinn, that a similar agency fee provision violated the First Amendment as applied to homecare providers because the providers were not full-fledged state employees. The Court did not address class certification. On remand, the Sixth Circuit concluded that Harris did not affect its class certification decision and affirmed.
This is a revision of a Previous Opinion originally issued on May 22, 2013.