WVa court dissolves injunction in paycheck union dues suit

November 22, 2021 GMT

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s Supreme Court on Monday gave a temporary setback to labor groups who challenged a new law prohibiting union dues or fees from being withheld from state employee paychecks.

The five-member court said a Kanawha County circuit judge abused her discretion in June by issuing a temporary injunction that was sought by the labor groups, who said the law is discriminatory and was passed out of spite.

The law bans the deductions unless a worker provides written consent.

The justices dissolved the injunction and remanded the case back to the circuit court for further proceedings. A lawsuit filed by a dozen groups claimed the law violates equal protection and contracts clauses of the state Constitution as well as free speech protections because it discriminates against certain employees’ viewpoints.

Unions representing teachers, firefighters, police, coal miners and corrections officers were among those joining the lawsuit.

Gov. Jim Justice, who signed the measure into law, vetoed a similar bill in 2017.