Employee Freedom: A Public Employee’s Guide to Opting Out of Union Membership

Employee Freedom: A Public Employee’s Guide to Opting Out of Union Membership

Employee Freedom: A Public Employee’s Guide to Opting Out of Union Membership

Did you know that 35.6 percent of union workers in Washington would give up their union membership if they could so without losing their job or facing other penalties? With over half-a-million union members in Washington, this means that as many as 180,000 employees would, if possible, leave their union or choose an alternative.

We believe every employee should be able to make the decision about union membership that is best for him or her. Our goal is to make sure that Washington workers know their options.

In order to help educate Washington workers about their rights, the Freedom Foundation is proud to be partnering with more than 50 organizations in over 30 states to sponsor the first-ever National Employee Freedom Week. To celebrate employee freedom, the Freedom Foundation is releasing its latest publication, Employee Freedom: A Guide to Opting Out of Union Membership. This guide describes the alternatives available in Washington state for employees who want to modify their union membership:

1. How to resign union membership and pay a reduced fee, which excludes the portion of their union dues designated for political activity.

2. How to object to union membership on religious grounds and pay full union dues to a charity instead of the union.

3. How to build enough support among colleagues to hold a vote to decertify the union as their exclusive bargaining representative.

Our intention in releasing the guide is not to attack the existence of unions but to inform workers of their options. Both our society and our economy are stronger when workers are allowed to associate freely. Each individual worker should be able to make the choice about union membership that is best for them and their family. No government or labor union should get to decide that for them.

View the Publication

Director of Research and Government Affairs
As the Freedom Foundation’s Director of Research and Government Affairs, Maxford Nelsen leads the team working to advance the Freedom Foundation’s mission through strategic research, public policy advocacy, and labor relations. Max regularly testifies on labor issues before legislative bodies and his research has formed the basis of several briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. Max’s work has been published in local newspapers around the country and in national outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Hill, National Review, and the American Spectator. His work on labor policy issues has been featured in media outlets like the New York Times, Fox News, and PBS News Hour. He is a frequent guest on local radio stations like 770 KTTH and 570 KVI. From 2019-21, Max was a presidential appointee to the Federal Service Impasses Panel within the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which resolves contract negotiation disputes between federal agencies and labor unions. Prior to joining the Freedom Foundation in 2013, Max worked for WashingtonVotes.org and the Washington Policy Center and interned with the Heritage Foundation. Max holds a labor relations certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated magna cum laude from Whitworth University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. A Washington native, he lives in Olympia with his wife and sons.