Harris v. Quinn, No. 10-3835 (7th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs provide in-home care through Medicaid-waiver programs run by the Illinois Department of Human Services; some work through a Rehabilitation Program and others through a Disabilities Program. In 2003, the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act was amended to designate personal care attendants and personal assistants working under the Home Services Program as state employees for purposes of collective bargaining. 20 ILCS 2405/3. Rehabilitation Program assistants designated a union, which negotiated an agreement that includes a "fair share" provision, requiring assistants who are not members to pay their proportionate share of costs of collective bargaining. Disabilities Program assistants voted against unionization. Rehabilitation Program plaintiffs claim that fair share fees violate the First Amendment by compelling association with, and speech through, the union. Disabilities Program plaintiffs argue that they are harmed by the threat of fair share fees. The district court dismissed both. The Seventh Circuit affirmed and remanded for dismissal of the Disabilities plaintiffs' case without prejudice because it was unripe. Because of the significant control the state exercises over all aspects of personal assistants' jobs, the assistants are employees of the state. The state's interests in collective bargaining are such that fair share fees withstand First Amendment scrutiny in a facial challenge to the imposition of the fees.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on May 1, 2015.