Unions explore ways to dodge Janus in advance

In the pending Janus case, the Supreme Court may recognize a First Amendment right of government workers not to be obliged to pay mandatory union dues as a condition of employment, while not disturbing the situation for private sector employees, who have no such First Amendment right. Presto, an opening for union subterfuge involving pretend privatization of the government jobs:

The unions’ version is to create and insert between government and employees sham “private” units to handle human resource and payroll functions and, thereby, assume the role of “legal employer.”

Ironically, some of the first groups of unionized employees to be targeted for such a strategy are in sectors where public-employee status had itself been a subterfuge: independent home health care workers paid with state moneys who had only been declared public employees in the first place as a way to herd them into unions. With the new twist, these independent workers could thus have been reclassified twice: first from private to public so as to allow the fiction of a single employer and coverage by pro-union state policy, and then from public to private to avoid the constitutional protections that would ordinarily accompany work for a public employer. [Red Jahncke, New London Day and earlier The Hill.)


  • Sounds like a great idea. Then we’ll solve the burden of public sector pension and retiree health care costs.

    • If the government was just getting out of the business and letting people be their own employers, that would be fine. But that’s not exactly what they are doing. I gather that they are forming a semi-private entity that the home health workers will be forced to be a part of (if they want to keep their career.)

      It won’t be truly privatized. Full privatization would allow individual workers to form their own companies and not unionize themselves, and the union-backed politicians don’t want to allow that. This semi-privatization isn’t going to lower costs; the article says Washington State’s Office of Fiscal Management actually.expects costs to rise by $11 million.