A second Lake County judge has ruled that Indiana's right to work law (RTW) violates a provision in the Indiana Constitution. On July 17, 2014, Lake County Judge George Paras struck down RTW on the basis that it is unconstitutional. In September 2013, another Lake County judge issued a similar decision in a different case.
In a case brought by the United Steelworkers union, Judge Paras ruled that RTW violates a section of the Indiana constitution that states "No person's particular services shall be demanded, without just compensation" because RTW forces unions to represent workers who do not pay union dues. RTW makes it a Class A misdemeanor to require an individual as a condition of employment to:
Become or remain a member of a labor organization
Pay dues, fees, assessments or other charges to a labor organization, or
Pay to a charity or another third party an amount that is equivalent to, or a pro rata part of, dues, fees or other charges required of a member of a labor organization
This is the second case in which a Lake County judge has found RTW unconstitutional. In September 2013, Lake County judge John Sedia issued a decision in a case brought by the International Union of Operating Engineers in which he found that RTW violated the same section of the Indiana Constitution. But Judge Sedia stayed that ruling and allowed RTW to remain in effect while the Indiana attorney general's office pursued an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court. In Judge Paras' recent ruling, however, he did not issue a similar stay and stated that RTW is immediately "null and void."
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said that he will ask for a stay to prevent the decision from taking effect immediately. Ultimately, the issue will be decided by the Indiana Supreme Court, where the appeal of Judge Sedia's ruling is pending.