Administrative Law Judge Decries Hogan's Attempt to Violate Constitutional Rights of Largest State Employee's Union and Employees

CONTACT: Katie Mostris

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BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings delivered a significant victory to AFSCME in ruling on competing unfair labor practice complaints filed by the union and the Hogan Administration in in relation to negotiations in 2018.  Administrative Law Judge Brian P. Weeks dismissed the Hogan Administration’s complaint as baseless and upheld AFSCME’s complaints that the Administration interfered with constitutional rights and violated the law by attempting to force the union to forgo its rights to communicate with the General Assembly and to undermine the union’s ability to communicate the employees it represents.

In the proposed decision, the ALJ described the Administration’s conduct as raising “grave constitutional difficulties” by interfering with AFSCME’s and employees’ First Amendment rights and also “raised separation of powers concerns” by interfering with the powers and rights of the General Assembly. 

The ALJ’s proposed order, which has been referred to State Labor Relations Board, would order the Administration to cease and desist from its unlawful conduct in (i) restricting AFSCME’s ability to seek changes from the legislature and (ii) restricting AFSCME’s ability to communicate regarding the status of negotiations using its website and social media accounts.  The order would direct the Administration to immediately commence collective bargaining and abide by the timeframes set by law. 

“Governor Hogan and his Administration need to follow the law and treat hardworking state employees with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said AFSCME Maryland President Patrick Moran.  “This strong and well-founded decision is indicative of just how outrageous and lawless the Administration’s behavior has been.  We’re ready to sit down immediately – as we have been for months – in a fair, legal bargaining process.”

The ALJ summed up the misconduct by the Administration: “The ground rules at issue in this case strike at the heart of a union’s constitutional and statutory right to speak, to think, to communicated, to organize, to petition…”  Plainly stated: “By refusing to bargain over wages with AFSCME during the 2018 negotiations, the State committed a ULP.”

Upon both parties receiving the decision, AFSCME immediately reached out to the administration with 9 potential dates for collective bargaining and the Administration has so far declined to accept and act on the directives and guidance of the proposed decision and order, even while the time to act grows shorter. 


AFSCME Maryland is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union for public service employees. We make Maryland happen.