United States District Court, D. Minnesota
B. Solem and William L. Messenger, National Right to Work
Legal Defense Foundation, and Craig S. Krummen, Winthrop
& Weinstine, PA, Counsel for Plaintiffs.
I. Gilbert and Jacob D. Campion, Minnesota Attorney
General's Office, Counsel for Defendants Governor Mark
Dayton, Josh Tilsen, and Emily Johnson Piper.
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
MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER
Michael J. Davis United States District Court Judge
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.
Minnesota's Homecare Program
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).
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,
The Public Employment Labor Relations Act
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.
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.
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
Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd. 1.
PELRA, unions are permitted, but not required, to assess fair
share fees to non-members. Minn. Stat. § 179A.06, subd
The Individual Providers of Direct Support Services
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).
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; ...