|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 198||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 2002|
EEOC Slaps NEA|
CLEVELAND, OH - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last month ordered the NEA to stop harassing and discriminating against teachers who object to supporting the union's political agenda with their dues money. If the union does not comply, the federal agency will sue.
The ruling came as a result of religious discrimination charges filed by Ohio teacher Dennis Robey, who first voiced his objections in 1995 to supporting the NEA's "pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality positions" and constant attempts to undermine parental rights.
According to the National Right to Work Foundation, a non-profit legal services organization that helped Robey with his complaint, the NEA rebuffed his "longstanding [religious] objection" during the 1999-2000 school year and demanded that he "describe annually in detail his deeply held religious views, fill out a lengthy and invasive form and file it with the union." The form asked highly personal questions about Robey's relationship with God, his "religious affiliation," and required him to obtain the signature of a "religious official" attesting to the validity of his beliefs.
"The NEA union's illegal scheme is intended to force teachers of faith to shut up and pay up," said Stefan Gleason, vice president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, in a May 20 press release. "The EEOC's action further underscores that the nation's largest teacher union is systematically persecuting people of faith."
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits labor unions from forcing employees to support them financially if union activities violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of an employee.