Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bierman v. Dayton

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 3, 2017

TERESA BIERMAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
GOVERNOR MARK DAYTON, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Minnesota, et al., Defendants.

          Aaron B. Solem and William L. Messenger, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, and Craig S. Krummen, Winthrop & Weinstine, PA, Counsel for Plaintiffs.

          Alan I. Gilbert and Jacob D. Campion, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, Counsel for Defendants Governor Mark Dayton, Josh Tilsen, and Emily Johnson Piper.

          Peder J.V. Thoreen and Scott A. Kronland, Altshuler Berzon LLP, and Brendan D. Cummins and Justin D. Cummins, Cummins & Cummins, PLLP, Counsel for Defendant SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

          Michael J. Davis United States District Court Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on State Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Docket No. 88] and Defendant SEIU Healthcare Minnesota's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [Docket No. 92]. Because Minnesota's certification of SEIU did not infringe on Plaintiffs' First Amendment rights, Defendants' motions are granted.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         1. Minnesota's Homecare Program

         The State of Minnesota has several programs through which it pays homecare providers to deliver vital “direct support services” to individuals with disabilities or the elderly. See Minn. Stat. § 256B.0711, subd. 1(b). These support services include assisting with the ”activities of daily living, ” such as “grooming, dressing, bathing, transferring, mobility, positioning, eating, and toileting, ” and the “instrumental activities of daily living, ” such as “meal planning and preparation; basic assistance with paying bills; shopping for food, clothing, and other essential items . . . and traveling, including to medical appointments and to participate in the community.” Minn. Stat. § 256B.0711, subd. 1(c); § 256B.0659, subd. 1(b), (i).

         The recipients of homecare, the participants, have the authority to choose and supervise their own providers; but the Minnesota Commissioner of the Department of Human Services (“DHS”) retains the authority to set the economic terms of employment for the individual providers. Minn. Stat. § 256B.0711, subd. 1(d), subd. 4. The Commissioner has authority to establish “compensation rates, ” “payment terms and practices, ” “benefit terms, ” “orientation programs, ” “training and educational opportunities, ” a “public registry” of individual providers available for work, and “other appropriate terms and conditions of employment governing the workforce of individual providers.” Minn. Stat. § 256B.0711, subd. 4(c).

         2. The Public Employment Labor Relations Act

         Minnesota's Public Employment Labor Relations Act (“PELRA”) gives public employees “the right by secret ballot to designate an exclusive representative to negotiate . . . the terms and conditions of employment with their employer.” Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 2. If a union presents the Commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (“BMS”) with a petition representing that at least 30 percent of the proposed bargaining unit desire representation by that union, then the union may obtain a certification election. Minn. Stat. § 179A.12, subd. 3. If the union then receives a majority of the votes cast in the certification election, the BMS Commissioner will certify that union as the exclusive representative of all employees in that bargaining unit. Id., subd. 10.

         Once a union is certified under PELRA, the public employer “has an obligation to meet and negotiate in good faith with the exclusive representative . . . regarding . . . the terms and conditions of employment.” Minn. Stat. § 179A.07, subd. 2. For state employees, any agreement reached must be presented to the Minnesota legislature for approval or rejection. Minn. Stat. § 179A.22, subd. 4.

         If a union is certified under PELRA, the employees in the bargaining unit are not required to become members of the union: PELRA gives employees “the right not to . . . join such organizations” and makes it an “unfair labor practice” for public employers or employee organizations to “restrain[] or coerce[]” employees in the exercise of that right or for public employers to “discriminat[e] in regard to hire or tenure to encourage or discourage membership in an employee organization.” Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 2; § 179A.13, subds. 1, 2(1), 2(3), 3(1). Also, the appointment of a PELRA exclusive representative does

not affect the right of any public employee or the employee's representative to express or communicate a view, grievance, complaint, or opinion on any matter related to the conditions or compensation of public employment or their betterment, so long as this is not designed to and does not interfere with the full faithful and proper performance of the duties of employment or circumvent the rights of the exclusive representative.

Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 1.

         Under PELRA, unions are permitted, but not required, to assess fair share fees to non-members. Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd 3.

         3. The Individual Providers of Direct Support Services Representation Act

         On May 24, 2013, Defendant Governor Mark Dayton signed the Individual Providers of Direct Support Services Representation Act (the “Act”). 2013 Minn. Law Ch. 128, Art. 2, codified at Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.54, 256B.0711. The Act provides that, “[f]or the purposes of [PELRA], individual [homecare] providers shall be considered . . . executive branch state employees. . . . This section does not require the treatment of individual providers as public employees for any other purpose.” Minn. Stat. § 179A.54, subd. 2; see also Minn. Stat. §§ 179A.54, subd. 1(b); 256B.0711, subd. 1(d).

         If an exclusive representative is certified under the procedures set forth in PELRA, the State and exclusive representative's “mutual rights and obligations . . . to meet and negotiate regarding terms and conditions shall extend to[:]” “compensation rates, payment terms and practices, and any benefit terms;” “required orientation programs;” “relevant training and educational opportunities;” “the maintenance of a public registry of individuals who have consented to be included;” and “other appropriate terms and conditions of employment governing the workforce of individual providers.” Minn. Stat. § 179A.54, subd. 3; ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.