Wright: Case involving 40,000 Michigan home-based businesses, $4 million and illegal government actions deserves hearing
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010
Contact: Patrick Wright
Director, Mackinac Center Legal Foundation
Michael D. Jahr
Senior Director of Communications
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
MIDLAND — Patrick J. Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, late yesterday submitted an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court in the case of home-based day care providers who found themselves members of a government employee union. Wright asked the court to overturn the dismissal of Loar v. DHS by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
“My clients are not public employees,” said Wright. “If a court is going to hold that they are, the governmental defendants actually need to present that argument and a court needs to explain how private business owners can become unionized public employees.”
The public-interest law firm brought suit against the Michigan Department of Human Services in September 2009 on behalf of home-based day care providers who were illegally forced into a government employees union and had dues withheld from state subsidy payments provided to low-income families. The Michigan Court of Appeals originally dismissed the case without explanation, but in September 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for an explanation. One week later, the Court of Appeals entered a second terse dismissal that did not address the case’s central issues. This second order is the one that is being appealed.
At least 40,000 home-based business owners and more than $4 million were affected by the DHS/union effort to designate the providers as government workers for unionization and dues-collecting purposes. The MCLF is suing to prevent the DHS from collecting dues from the providers.