The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is a public interest law firm that advances individual freedom and the rule of law in Michigan. The Foundation uses strategic litigation and public outreach to secure the liberties of Michigan's residents, workers, students and entrepreneurs.

Michigan Teachers Trapped in "August Window"

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed unfair labor complaints on behalf of Miriam Chanski, as well as several other plaintiffs, against the Michigan Education Association over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law. The union is enforcing an outdated policy referred to as the "August Window," which limits members' ability to exercise their first amendment rights to one month out of the year. To read about our other plaintiffs, please visit their respective pages.

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A Gate-Keeping Fee for FOIA Requests

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has filed a lawsuit against the city of Westland for what they say is an illegal fee on people seeking public information.

Result: The city of Westland has agreed to restructure the fees it charges for public documents to bring them in line with the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in response to the Mackinac Center's lawsuit.

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Unions Members Discriminated Against By Union

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of four city of Dearborn employees against Teamsters Local 214 over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law. The union recently adopted a policy that would require non-union member employees to pay for the processing of filing grievances. The right-to-work law clearly states that no employee has to financially support a union as a condition of employment.

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Taylor Teachers Oppose "Insecurity Clause" Following Right-to-Work

The Foundation sued on behalf of three teachers in the Taylor School District over a side agreement the union and school board reached that would force teachers to financially support the union for 10 years. This deal is outside of the four-year contract the union and school board reached, which is a violation of Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act and is intended to deny these teachers their ability to exercise their freedoms under the recently enacted right-to-work law.

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SEIU Illegally Skims "Dues" From Home-Based Caregivers

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is representing Pat Haynes and Stephen Glossop in their efforts to prevent the SEIU from illegally skimming "dues" from their family members' Medicaid checks. This case has received national attention and was launched in September of 2012.

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U of M Graduate Student Fights Union Grab

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is representing Melinda Day in her efforts to prevent the illegal unionization of graduate student research assistants. The Foundation scored a victory on Aug. 8, 2011, when the Michigan Employment Relations Commission refused to certify a binding union election.

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Loar v. DHS

The Loar Brief

Read the full story here! The Loar brief includes a column reprinted from The Weekly Standard on our case.

Summary: The Foundation sued to end the DHS' illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from state subsidy checks received by home-based day care providers who watch children from low-income families. The "dues" were funneled to a government-employee union that purports to represent more than 40,000 of Michigan's home-based day care providers, who are actually private business owners and independent contractors.

Result: The case was ruled moot by the Michigan Supreme Court after the DHS ceased to collect the so-called "union dues" and the DHS director stated that these home-based day care providers are not state employees.

Find out more about Loar v. DHS.

Jurrians v. Kent ISD

Summary: The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued 10 Kent County school districts and the Kent County Education Association to remove illegal contract language that states that the school districts will not privatize non-instructional functions. The suit was brought on behalf of five Kent County taxpayers.

Result: The suit was denied on grounds the clients lacked legal standing. The judge, however, specifically stated that his ruling "should not be construed as approval" of the disputed contract language. The MCLF is not pursuing further legal action at this time.

Find out more about Jurrians v. Kent ISD.

Patrick J. Wright, Director

Michigan Teachers Trapped by "August Window"
Miriam Chanski et al v. Michigan Education Association

A Gate-Keeping Fee for FOIA Requests
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy v. The City of Westland

Unions Members Discriminated Against by Union
Shawn Koskyn, Maria Santiago-Powell, Greg Andrews and Fred Armstrong v. Teamsters Local 214

Union "Insecurity" Clause in Taylor Schools
Angela Steffke, Rebecca Metz, and Nancy Rhatigan v. Taylor Federation of Teachers, Taylor School District and Taylor School District Board of Education

Home-Based Caregiver Unionization
Haynes and Glossop vs. SEIU and MQCCC

U of M Graduate Research Assistant Unionization
Motion on behalf of graduate student Melinda Day

School Privatization Case
Jurrians v. Kent ISD

Day Care
Unionization Case
Loar v. DHS

Freedom of Information Act Case
Zarko/Rothoff v. Howell Education Association