Judge Rules Indiana Right To Work Law Unconstitutional

A Lake County superior court judge writes that the law requires unions to represent workers without just compensation.

Right to work protestors

Photo: Gretchen Frazee/WTIU News

Protestors stand outside the Indiana state capitol in protest of right-to-work legislation during the 2012 legislative session.

A Lake County superior court judge has ruled Indiana’s right-to-work law violates a section of the Indiana constitution.

A local operating engineers union in northwest Indiana challenged the controversial 2012 law in state court last year. Among several claims, union lawyers argued the law forces unions to provide services without just compensation.

In an order issued last Thursday, Lake County Judge John Sedia agreed, finding the law wrongly requires unions to represent non-dues paying workers.

“It becomes a criminal offense for a union to receive just compensation for particular services federal law demands it provide to employee,” Sedia writes, referring to the two parts of the law in question.

A spokesman for Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the state will take an immediate appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Union spokesman Ed Maher says his organization is delighted with the ruling, calling it a “huge win for the middle class.”  The law will remain in effect pending the appeal.

Lake Superior Court Ruling on Right To Work by Indiana Public Media News

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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