In the fall of 2018, G.K., a Los Angeles County employee, printed an opt-out letter from OptOutToday.com and sent it to SEIU Local 721 requesting to end his association with the union — and the dues payments that came with it.
G.K. also requested a copy of any dues authorization the union had on file.
On Oct. 29, the union responded by letter, acknowledging that G.K.’s membership had been canceled, but rejecting his request to end his dues deductions.
Not only did the union keep taking G.K.’s money, but it also provided no guidance on how to cancel the dues deductions. The union simply instructed him to resubmit his letter “during your specific revocation period,” noting that if he missed it, the union would keep taking his money for more than a year.
The letter explained that his “revocation period” was outlined either on his membership card or in his contract. Translation: We’re all about getting people into the union; when it comes to getting out, they’re on their own.
The union did not provide G.K. with a copy of his dues authorization nor cited the specific section of the contract outlining the “revocation period” so he’d know when to resubmit his letter.
The union neglected to provide a copy of his dues authorization to prove it had his consent to deduct dues in the first place.
Left with no other choice, G.K. tried again to stop dues deductions on Jan. 15, this time through an online form submission on SEIU721.org.
The union waited two months to reply, and only then to inform G.K. his request had been denied. The union “do(es) not handle these types of inquiries via the internet,” he was told.
On June 17, G.K. contacted the Freedom Foundation for help, and its Legal Team set about to defend G.K.’s rights. The attorneys sent a letter to the union, demanding it honor his request immediately.
In response, the union immediately refunded the hundreds of dollars of dues money deducted from G.K.’s pay since Oct. 29, 2018, plus interest.
It’s too bad it takes a letter from an attorney for SEIU 721 to make things right, but thankfully Freedom Foundation is there to extend pro-bono legal services for public employees like G.K..