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Union Pays $40K Settlement in Religious Discrimination Case

Laborers' International Union of North America has spent millions backing Democrats

• March 28, 2022 4:55 pm

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One of the largest unions in North America agreed to pay a $40,000 settlement after a member alleged the union discriminated against her over her Catholic beliefs.

The March legal settlement regards allegations that union dues payments collected by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LiUNA), which has roughly 500,000 members, violate Catholic beliefs in opposition to abortion. Dorothy Frame, a Tennesee resident, was required to be a member of the union when employed at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and claimed that her dues funded pro-abortion advocacy. LiUNA has historically donated to Democratic campaigns and PACs.

Frame requested that she receive a waiver for paying the union dues, which she justified with a letter from her pastor, but the LiUNA Local 576 in Tennessee denied the request. The union counsel allegedly wrote a letter to Frame in response that questioned her beliefs and claimed her complaint "does not appear well founded in [her] Roman Catholic faith."

The union eventually granted her request after she filed charges at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The union, however, refused to refund the dues taken out of her paychecks for four months in 2019. The union did not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to pay Frame $10,000 in damages and her attorney $30,000 in legal fees.

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."

LiUNA did not respond to a request for comment.

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 employees should never have to choose between standing up for their beliefs and staying employed.

"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.