California teacher alleges constitutional rights have been violated by union, school district

By Bree Gonzales | Nov 27, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) – A special education teacher in California alleges his constitutional rights have been violated because a union refused to allow him to withdraw his membership.

Thomas Few filed a complaint on Nov. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against United Teachers of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra seeking declaratory relief.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff is an employee of Los Angeles Unified School District and alleges on June 2, he sent a letter to the United Teachers of Los Angeles asking to resign his membership, which was rejected on July 13. He alleges he sent a second letter Aug. 3 in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's Janus v. AFSCME decision and did not receive a response, and a third letter submitted Oct. 10 was also denied because it was not received within the resignation window.

The plaintiff alleges that the United Teachers of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District are violating his First Amendment rights.

The plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Los Angeles Unified School District from deducting dues from his paycheck and to enjoin United Teachers of Los Angeles from collecting dues; damages against UTLA for all union dues collected since the start of his employment; or in the alternative, award damages against UTLA for all union dues collected from him since June 2. He is represented by Mark W. Bucher of Law Office of Mark W. Bucher in Tustin, California and Brian Kelsey and Jeffrey M. Schwab of Liberty Justice Center in Chicago, Illinois.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California case number 2:18-cv-09531-DDP-JEM

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Law Office of Mark W. Bucher Liberty Justice Center U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

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