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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bizarre Ruling On Act 10 Should Alarm Everyone

The only way I can wrap my mind around Judge Conley's recent ruling on Act 10 is through and by substitution.

Business Journal Excerpt:
“Under Act 10, general employees remain free to associate and represented employees and their unions remain free to speak; municipal employers are simply not allowed to listen,” Conley wrote.

So according to Conley's ruling, municipal employers government can discriminate against employees because of, by or through, an employee's association or whatever an employee is associated with.

By substitution then, Conley ruled that government can discriminate against an employee for being associated with gays, Jews, electricians or the Tea Party.

Sure, Act 10 does not forbid gays, Jews, electricians or the Tea Party from association and does not prohibit their speech, but Act 10 gives government the power to act in differing ways according to the employee's association. The act of listening or "not listening" strictly determined by distinguishing association is or was, in my book ...discrimination. Conley's ruling is definitely a trick bag.

Conley also ruled that governments can treat represented employees differently than unrepresented employees in regards to bargaining over wages and employment conditions.

Again through substitution, Conley then ruled government can treat employees associated with represented the Tea Party differently than employees not associated unrepresented with the Tea Party. You're Tea Party ... sorry, I don't have to listen to you or give you a pay raise. But, if you're a Progressive, you get a 10% raise. It is written!

No question, Conley's ruling can cut both ways. Accordingly, government can reward or punish any employee or employee group simply for their associative variable. So a group, by forming an association or union creates an external group of non-members simply by the association's exclusion. This in turn causes government to reward or punish either group just because - according to Judge Conley. I'm not referring to collective bargaining agreements or private contracts resulting or not from those associations, only the different behaviors and actions Conley ruled the government can make based by recognizing those associations.

Am I wrong for using those substitutions in this context? They are associations.

I've always thought or assumed that our Constitution protected the people from those actions and prohibited government at any level from taking specific or unequal action based on associations.

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