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Minn. PCA Unionization Vote Will Proceed, Judge Rules

August 21, 2014

A judge ruled on August 20 that a planned vote to determine whether Minnesota personal care assistants (PCAs) should be represented by a union can proceed despite a legal challenge filed last month.

The lawsuit challenging the upcoming vote was submitted to a federal district court on July 28. In it, nine PCAs said that the vote to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) violated their First Amendment rights, since they did not want to join the union.

But U.S District Judge Michael Davis ruled that, since the vote has not yet been held, the nine PCAs’ lawsuit is premature.

“There is no legal authority for the proposition that merely holding a vote on such a measure that may violate the First Amendment is, in and of itself, a violation of the First Amendment,” Davis wrote.

“If, after all the votes are counted, the SEIU is certified as the exclusive representative, plaintiffs may renew their challenge,” he continued.

Approximately 27,000 PCAs in Minnesota began receiving ballots by mail starting August 1. The unionization vote is the largest public-sector union vote in state history, SEIU representatives say.

The ballots are due on August 25.

— by Matthew Ozga

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