Former Connecticut State Trooper Wins Over $250,000 in Political Discrimination Suit

CSPU union upended Connecticut State Trooper Joseph Mercer’s career after he refused to fund union politics

In 2015, then-Connecticut State Trooper Joseph Mercer received a promotion to Operations Sergeant of the Emergency Services Unit, a position that gave him significant responsibility over emergency services training and field operations. Mercer gained this prestigious position through his seventeen years of experience as a trooper, which included a tense situation with an armed suspect barricaded in a hotel.

But behind the scenes, Mercer was a target of Connecticut State Police Union (CSPU) officials, who resented Mercer because of his resistance to funding union politics with his own money. After CSPU President Andrew Matthews filed two baseless grievances against Mercer, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) demoted him to a position that offered fewer overtime opportunities and involved less time in the field.

Mercer slammed CSPU and DESPP officials with a federal lawsuit in 2016 with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation, accusing police union officials of retaliating against him for exercising his right to stop funding union politics.

This April, Foundation attorneys forced CSPU and DESPP to back down and settle the case. Both parties must now pay $260,500 as a condition of ending the suit.


All contents from this article were originally published on the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation Website.

If you have questions about whether union officials are violating your rights, contact the Foundation for free help. To take action by supporting The National Right to Work Committee and fueling the fight against Forced Unionism, click here to donate now.

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