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Author: Erin Wilcox

July 30, 2019

You have a right to know your rights

For six years, Mike Jackson was forced to pay approximately $600 a year to the Teamsters union. Mike—an employee at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)—doesn't agree with the union, doesn't want to support it, and doesn't think he receives enough value from his membership. But until recently, he didn't have any other choice. ...

March 22, 2019

Houston Chronicle: Election Day choice: Your T-shirt or your vote

This article was originally published in the Houston Chronicle on March 21, 2019. There are some scenarios where you might expect an outfit to raise eyebrows — for example, wearing white to a wedding, a Longhorns shirt in College Station or a dress made of meat to a celebrity awards show. But when Houston resident ...

March 06, 2019

Property rights go up in smoke

On October 10, 2016, Michael and Cathy Zito's beach home in Nags Head, North Carolina, burned to the ground.  Luckily no one was hurt, but as Michael and Cathy were about to discover, the sadness of losing their dream home was nothing compared to the bureaucratic nightmare that came next. The Zitos planned to rebuild.  ...

February 22, 2019

This university professor can speak for herself… which is why she’s fighting for free speech at the Supreme Court

Kathleen Uradnik, a professor at Minnesota's St. Cloud State University, is free to speak with her political science students each day. But when she wants to speak with her employer about her job, Minnesota law says she has to let her university's labor union do the talking. But Uradnik doesn't belong to the union. She ...

February 04, 2019

Freeing workers from the dues deduction trap

When Wisconsin became the nation's twenty-fifth right-to-work state in 2015, thousands of employees like Lisa Aplin were freed from having to pay a monthly fee to a labor union they didn't belong to.  Ms. Aplin, an employee at John Deere, was not a member of the International Association of Machinists union, but for over a ...

February 04, 2019

Water, Property Rights and the Public Trust Doctrine

This article was originally published in The Daily Journal on January 30th 2018. Even if Mark Twain never actually said, "Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over," nowhere is this maxim better illustrated than in California, where people have been claiming, diverting and fighting over water since pioneers and prospectors first started r ...

January 16, 2019

Will Supreme Court strike down union representation rule on free speech grounds? Here’s hoping

"Exclusive representation" is the rule that gives unions a monopoly on talking to employers on behalf of all employees in a workplace. Yet, in the aftermath of a recent Supreme Court decision, this controversial rule's time may be up. If so, that will be a big win for workers' free speech rights. This past summer, ...

December 21, 2018

Water rights are property rights too!

Stanford Vina Ranch Irrigation Company is a California non-profit water company that has been lawfully using water from Deer Creek for irrigation since 1862. When drought struck the state in 2014 and again the following year, California's State Water Resources Control Board ordered Stanford Vina to stop using water from Deer Creek or face serious ...

September 27, 2018

At Gerawan Farming, UFW Finally Gets the Boot

After five long years, the ballots from a 2013 election on whether to oust the United Farm Workers union (UFW) from Gerawan Farming, Inc. have finally been counted. The outcome was brutally clear: UFW lost the election 1,098 to 197, a margin of 5:1. UFW came to Gerawan Farming in 1990, but almost immediately abandoned ...

May 11, 2018

PLF client Freddie Linden dances to top score in team tryouts

Earlier this week, in response to PLF's lawsuit, the South Dakota High School Activities Association suspended its discriminatory rule that keeps boys like Freddie Linden from participating in high school Competitive Dance. Yesterday, Freddie tried out for his high school's dance team. Not only did Freddie make the team—he earned the highest scor ...