A second Indiana judge has ruled right-to-work unconstitutional. Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras struck down the 2012 law that bans employers from collecting union fees from non-union employees. Opponents of the law claim that right-to-work gives an incentive for employees at companies where unionization was approved to freeload and not pay their dues.
Another judge in Indiana, Superior Court Judge John Sedia, had also found the law unconstitutional in a separate case last year. He found that the law violated Indiana’s constitution based on a provision that bars delivering services “without just compensation“. Judge Sedia serves in Lake County. He was appointed by former Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, who signed the right-to-work bill into law.
“These laws are nothing but thinly veiled tools to weaken unions, and this is a big win for workers who rely on unions to provide decent wages and benefits,” Local 150 president James M. Sweeney said after last year’s ruling. “We pledged on the day that this law was passed that they hadn’t seen the last of us, and we are delighted with this ruling.”
The state is appealing both rulings. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is requesting that Judge Paras’ ruling be halted pending appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court. Judge Paras did not issue a stay. The state’s appeal of Judge Sedia’s ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court is set for September.