December 7, 2016
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15 CV 10175 -
Manish S. Shah, Judge.
Bauer and Flaum, Circuit Judges, and Shadid, District Judge.
Appellants, home healthcare and childcare providers,
challenge the exclusive-bargaining-representative provisions
of the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, 5Ill.Comp.Stat.
315/1 et seq. ("IPLRA"). Appellants argue
that the statutory scheme violates their First Amendment
associational rights. The district court dismissed their
complaint for failing to state a claim. We affirm.
provide home-based personal care and child-care services
under various programs administered by Illinois agencies. The
Home Services Program ("HSP"), 20Ill.Comp.Stat.
2405/3(f), pays about 25, 000 "personal assistants"
who help "customers" with basic living needs. The
customers are responsible for hiring and supervising the
personal assistants, and the State of Illinois pays the
assistants. See generally Harris v. Quinn, - U.S. -,
134 S.Ct. 2618, 2623-25 (2014). Illinois' Child Care
Assistance Program ("CCAP"), 305Ill.Comp.Stat.
5/9A-11, subsidizes childcare services for low-income and
at-risk families. Parents choose their own providers and
contribute to the cost if financially able. The program pays
about 60, 000 childcare providers. We refer collectively to
the people working under these programs as
IPLRA generally allows public employees in a bargaining unit
to choose, by majority vote, an exclusive bargaining
representative to negotiate with the State over employment
terms. See 5 Ill.Comp.Stat. 315/3(f); id.
majority of both HSP and CCAP providers chose
defendant-appellee Service Employees International Union
("SEIU") as their exclusive bargaining
representative. Though the SEIU bargains with Illinois over
key employment terms for the providers, they are under no
obligation to join the SEIU or pay dues. The SEIU cannot
discriminate against a provider because of his or her
membership in a labor union, or lack thereof. Id.
315/10(a)(2). Thus, providers are able to present their own
grievances to the State, publicly oppose the SEIU, and
associate with whomever they want, without retaliation from
the union. In effect, the IPLRA authorizes Illinois to listen
to only one voice before deciding pay rates, hours, and other
key work conditions for the providers, and allows a majority
of a given bargaining unit to select that voice.
sued the SEIU and Illinois officials under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. The providers alleged that the IPLRA violates the First
and Fourteenth Amendments because, by authorizing the SEIU to
bargain on behalf of HSP and CCAP providers, the statute
forces appellants into an agency-like association with the
SEIU. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief
prohibiting the HSP and CCAP bargaining units from choosing
moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim.
The district court granted the motion, holding that
"plaintiffs' theory runs counter to the established
principle that a state does not infringe on associational
rights by requiring the type of exclusive representation at
issue here." Hill v. Sew. Emps. Int'l Union,
Healthcare III, Ind., Mo., Kan., No. 15 CV 10175, 2016
WL 2755472, at *1 (N.D. 111. May 12, 2016).
review de novo a district court's grant of a motion to
dismiss. Volling v. Kurtz Paramedic Sews., Inc., 840
F.3d 378, 382 (7th Cir. 2016). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) permits a motion to dismiss a complaint
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). "To properly state a
claim, a plaintiff's complaint must contain allegations
that plausibly suggest that the plaintiff has a right to
relief, raising that possibility above a speculative
level." Kubiak v. City of Chi, 810 F.3d 476,
480 (7th Cir.), cert, denied sub nom. Kubiak v. City of
Chi., Ill. 137 S.Ct. 491 (2016) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). "We accept as true all of
the well-pleaded facts in the complaint and draw all
reasonable inferences in favor of
plaintiff[s-appellants]." Mat 480-81.
First Amendment encompasses both the freedom to associate and
the freedom not to associate. Knox v. Sew. Emps.
Int'l Union, Local 1000,567 U.S. 298, 132 S.Ct.
2277, 2288, (2012) (citing Roberts v. United States
Jaycees,468 U.S. 609, 623 (1984)). Mandatory
associations are subject to exacting scrutiny, meaning they
require a compelling state interest that cannot be achieved
through significantly less-restrictive means. Id. at
2289. Appellants argue ...