Child care unionization foes file federal lawsuit

Minnesota child care providers who oppose a union organization effort are poised to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

A news release today from the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota said the lawsuit will challenge child care unionization on constitutional grounds. It claims a vote would violate the providers’ first amendment right of free political expression and association. Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order in November calling for a vote among thousands of state subsidized, in-home child care providers to vote on whether they want to join a union. Opponents filed an earlier lawsuit in Ramsey County, and Judge Dale Lindman issued a temporary restraining order that delayed the scheduled vote. That order will be revisited in a hearing Feb. 22.

The news release announcing the separate federal lawsuit quoted Jennifer Parrish, a child care provider from Rochester.

“We wish we didn’t have to be in this position to begin with,” Parrish said. “But since we were put in this position we do believe that this violates our first amendment rights and we intend to argue that in court.”

The National Right to Work Foundation is providing legal assistance to the plaintiffs in the federal case.

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