Wife of Oregon lawmaker sues union, joining national effort

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The wife of an Oregon lawmaker has filed a lawsuit against the state’s largest union, joining a national push by an anti-union group to let workers avoid paying dues to unions where they work.

Debora Nearman, wife of Rep. Mike Nearman, a Republican, filed suit late Wednesday against the state branch of Service Employees International Union, claiming dues-payment requirements violate her First Amendment rights.

The National Right To Work Foundation is assisting Nearman, part of a broader effort involving parallel lawsuits in the U.S. Supreme Court and other states.

Nearman says her dues support positions contrary to her religious beliefs, and were used against her husband’s election campaign, violating her rights to free speech and association.

A union representative did not immediately return a message seeking comment.