Union Settles With Professors Who Refuse To Pay Dues

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:19 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The California Faculty Association this week settled a lawsuit brought by two college professors from different universities who refused to pay union dues because of their religious beliefs.

Seeking religious accommodation, the professors asked that their dues be sent instead to a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charity.

"It is in direct compliance with the federal statute, Title 7, Section 701 J, which requires unions to accommodate union workers who have such religious-based objections, and it specifically requires unions to allow the union worker to have all of their union dues to go to a charity instead of a union, said attorney Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute.

"So we're very glad that the California Faculty Association finally agreed to comply with this important civil rights statute," he added.

The Pacific Justice Institute is a non-profit 501(c)(3) legal defense organization specializing in defending religious freedom, parents' rights and other basic civil liberties.

"These professors had deep and sincere religious beliefs and convictions ...against supporting the California Faculty Association in view of what they propose and the kinds of issues and causes and candidates that they support."

Dacus said he has successfully represented union workers in similar situations, and he said those cases often involves workers who "are committed to their faith and object to the liberal positions supported by the union, which range from everything from work-ethic practices to supporting abortion and homosexuality."

Dacus said his clients tend to take offense when a labor union gets involved in issues beyond the job description.

He said he expects to see more union workers nationwide refusing to pay dues to unions that contradict their religious beliefs as they learn more about their rights.

"And if so, we'll represent them without charge," he said.