Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Sixth Circuit Affirms Denial of Class Certification in Michigan Home-Based Child-Care Case

May 2013

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of AFSCME Council 25, United Auto Workers, and Child Care Providers Together Michigan, affirming a district court decision that rejected an attempt by the National Right to Work Foundation to certify a class action on behalf of some 40,000 Michigan home-based child-care providers.  Schlaud v. Snyder, ___ F.3d ___, 2013 WL 2221589 (6th Cir. May 22, 2013). 

The appeal came after the district court had dismissed the case as moot, following Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s rescission of a program allowing for collective bargaining by providers who are compensated by the state for caring for the children of low-income families.  The Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s refusal to let the case proceed as a class action for recovery of union dues and fees paid by members of the putative class, observing that the interests of the class representatives who opposed union representation were in conflict with the expressed interests of a substantial portion of the class, who by large margins had voted for union representation and in favor of a contract authorizing the deduction of union dues and agency fees.  Bredhoff & Kaiser represented the defendant unions in the appeal.