Bill to Protect Home Care Workers from Forced Union Dues Afoot

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has proposed rolling back an Obama-era regulation that allowed union dues to be deducted from Medicaid checks. This would stop the automatic dues deduction of homecare workers who never neither voted for the union or receive any benefit from being in a union. Of course, any caregivers who wish to join or stay in a union could still do so. They would just need to make arrangements to pay their dues to the union, which could be done by authorizing the union to automatically pull money from their bank account.

For years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has skimmed money off of Medicaid checks sent to in-home personal care workers. Many of these people care for relatives or friends and did not want to join a union. In Minnesota, 27,000 caregivers were unionized after an election in which fewer than 6,000 voted and the SEIU received less than 3,600 of those votes. SEIU does little for these home health care providers: It does not negotiate their hours, breaks, or tasks, file grievances, etc.

According to one estimate, SEIU collects $200 million a year from 500,000 caregivers as a result of this scheme.

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at