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The USW Right to Work Case Clears First Hurdle

The case brought by the United States Steelworkers attempting to overturn Indiana’s Right to Work Act cleared its first hurdle last week. Counsel for the State of Indiana had filed a motion to dismiss the USW case on the grounds that it failed to state a claim and on the grounds that it improperly included Governor Mitch Daniels as a defendant.

Well, the State won on one ground – Daniels was dismissed  as a defendant, but Lake County Circuit Court Judge George  Paras held that he could not “categorically” rule “at this time”  that the new statute does not violate the state constitution.  The ruling allows the case to go forward to discovery – if  necessary – and ultimate determination on the Union’s  request for a declaratory judgment that the law violates the  state constitution.

The State had argued that the union could not raise its objections to the statute by filing a lawsuit for a declaratory judgment. But Judge Paras concluded that “no other remedy exists for a timely determination of the constitutionality of the legislation in question.”

The union argues that the Act violates Article 1, Section 21, of the Indiana constitution, which provides, “No person's particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation.”

The Judge’s ruling is available here

© 2022 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume II, Number 296
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About this Author

Gerald Lutkus, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, South Bend, Labor and Employment Attorney,
Partner

Gerald F. (Jerry) Lutkus is a partner in the South Bend office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP where he is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Departments. He practices in the areas of labor and employment law counseling and litigation, arbitration, collective bargaining, and media law. Mr. Lutkus has been recognized on the Indiana Super Lawyers list for his work in labor and employment Law. The Best Lawyers in America has recognized Mr. Lutkus for over 10 years for his work in commercial litigation, employment law - management...

574-237-1118
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