Loar et al v Michigan Department of Human Services
On April 12, 2010, the ACRU filed an amicus brief requesting the Michigan Supreme Court to hear the case of Loar et al v Michigan Department of Human Services. This case presents critical questions regarding institutionalized misappropriation and diversion of public funds, and forced unionization as state employees of self-employed, privately owned and operated, home based, independent contractors serving the general public.
Under a state program to assist low income mothers in working and thereby reducing the burden of public assistance on taxpayers, the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) is authorized under state law to pay these independent providers for child care services to qualifying low income mothers. AFSCME and the UAW formed a union, Child Care Providers Together Michigan (CCPTM), which was certified as the collective bargaining unit for the self-employed, home-based child care providers by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) after a supposed certification election in which only 6,400 out of the 72,000 child care providers voted. The DHS then formed another bureaucracy, the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council (MHBCCC), which entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the CCPTM union as the supposed employer of the self-employed, independent contractor child care providers. Under that agreement, the DHS began diverting dues to the union out of the payments to the child care providers for services rendered to the low income mothers that employed them. Those dues payments totaled almost $4 million for 2009 alone. The child care providers sued to recover these misappropriated funds due to them under state law for services rendered.