NEWS | Oregon public employee gets first refund of union fees after Janus ruling

An employee at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has won the first refund of mandatory union fees stemming from a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that public employees cannot be required to pay unions dues or fees if they opt out of membership.

Debora Nearman filed a lawsuit in April challenging the mandatory union costs as a condition of her employment at the agency. After the Janus decision was issued June 27, the Service Employees International Union Local 503 moved to settle the case and return more than two years of fees to Nearman, or $2,959.81.

Nearman, the wife of Oregon Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, said the SEIU actively opposed her husband’s election efforts, forming a political action committee and spending some $53,000 to campaign against him, including distributing disparaging fliers.

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