One of the largest unions in North America has agreed to pay a $40k settlement after a member alleged religious discrimination in regards to her Catholic beliefs.
The legal settlement, which took place in March, is related to allegations that union dues payments that are collected by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) — which has approximately 500,000 members — violate Catholic beliefs in opposition to abortion.
Dorothy Frame, a Tennesee resident, was required to be a member of the union while she was employed at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. As LiUNA has historically donated to Democratic campaigns and PACs, Frame was not comfortable with the fact that her dues funded pro-abortion advocacy.
Because of this fact, Frame requested to receive a waiver for paying the union dues, justifying her request with a letter from her pastor, but the LiUNA Local 576 in Tennessee denied the request.
In a response letter to Frame, the union counsel allegedly questioned her beliefs and claimed her complaint “does not appear well founded in [her] Roman Catholic faith.”
The union eventually granted Frame’s request after she filed charges at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But, the union has still refused to refund the dues taken out of her paychecks for four months in 2019, and has not admitted any wrongdoing, even though it has agreed to pay Frame $10,000 in damages and her attorney $30,000 in legal fees.
Following her legal victory, Frame said that workers should not be intimidated by union bosses who disregard their religious beliefs.
“Reach down into yourself and fight back because you know it’s the right thing to do,” Frame told the Washington Free Beacon in response to the settlement. “They tried to cause a lot of strife between me and my fellow coworkers.”
According to reporting from the Washington Free Beacon:
LiUNA is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, which has allied with Planned Parenthood to target pro-life candidates. LiUNA has donated millions to Democrat-affiliated PACs in recent election cycles, including $7 million to the Democratic Senate Majority PAC in the last election cycle.
Tennessee is a right-to-work state, which means private-sector employers are unable to require union membership as a term of employment. But the hospital that Frame worked at is located at Fort Campbell, which is considered a “federal enclave” not subject to state laws.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represented Frame, said that employees should never have to choose between standing up for their beliefs and keeping their jobs.
“Despite being targeted with years of bullying and discrimination by LiUNA officials, Ms. Frame refused to forsake her religious beliefs and stood firm for her rights,” Mix said.