International Association of Machinists District 10 v. Allen, No. 17-1178 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
In 2015, Wis. Stat. 111.01, changed many provisions of state labor laws. One provision purported to change the rules for payroll deductions that allow employees to pay union dues through dues‐checkoff authorizations. By signing an authorization, the employee directs the employer to deduct union dues or fees routinely from the employee’s paycheck and to remit those funds to the applicable union. The union itself is not a party to the authorization, which is effective if and only if the employee wishes. Federal law allows unions to bargain collectively with employers over the standard terms of dues‐checkoff authorizations: the authorization must be individual for each employee, in writing, and irrevocable for no longer than one year, 29 U.S.C. 186(a)(2), (c)(4). Wisconsin attempted to shorten this maximum period to 30 days. The district court found the matter preempted by federal law and issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the provision. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, citing the Supreme Court’s summary affirmance in a case finding a nearly identical state law preempted. Wisconsin’s attempt to short‐circuit the collective bargaining process and to impose a different dues‐checkoff standard is preempted by federal law.