Wisc. Education Ass’n Council v. Walker

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Labor Law
Case Number: 
Nos. 12-1854 et al. Cons.
Decision Date: 
January 18, 2013
Federal District: 
W.D. Wisc.
Affirmed and reversed in part and remanded
In action challenging on First Amendment and equal protection grounds Wisc. statute that prevented most state workers (but not certain “public safety” employees) from collective bargaining on issues other than base wages, as well as imposed annual union re-certification requirements and prohibited state from deducting union dues from paychecks, Dist. Ct. did not err in granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment with respect to collective bargaining restriction where state’s distinction between public safety employees and general employees had rational basis arising out of fear that state could not withstand work stoppage by public safety employees if statute applied to said workers. Dist. Ct. erred, though, in invalidating remaining portion of statute on both First Amendment and equal protection grounds since: (1) plaintiffs failed to establish that denial of use of payroll system to collect union dues was based on content of unions’ speech; and (2) state otherwise had same rational basis for making public safety/general employee distinction with respect to remaining portions of Wisc. statute. (Partial dissent filed.)