Freedom Foundation

Freedom Foundation Saves Orange County Lifeguards

B.R. and J.H. reached out to the Freedom Foundation on behalf of more than 100 of their colleagues who had attempted to opt out of their union.

Both men work as lifeguards, patrolling the sunny beaches of Orange County, and are members of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA), paying hundreds of dollars in dues each year. They were upset that, in their last contract, they felt that they had been forgotten about by their parent union.

To make things more interesting, B.R. and J.H. are both in top leadership positions of their local union.

They don’t oppose the idea of a good union that bargains effectively for their interests and spends their money wisely. However, they just don’t believe CSLEA is that union.

According to B.R. and J.H., the union doesn’t do anything for them and is a huge waste of their financial resources.

On multiple occasions, B.R. and J.H. made suggestions to their CSLEA representatives on behalf of their local unions, to no avail. They were snubbed or outright ignored.

When the new contract was released publicly in July of 2019, they learned the lifeguards were all but forgotten. They had received negligible raises and did not believe that the money they were spending on union dues was being managed responsibly.

With more than 100 aggravated lifeguards looking for a way to finally make their voices heard, B.R. and J.H. decided to use their constitutional right to cease paying union dues under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

Not only that, but they organized close to 130 lifeguards to do the same, all of whom resigned their CSLEA membership.

CSLEA claimed that, due to a clause in the contract, the lifeguards would have to wait until 2023 — more than four years — to opt-out. Not allowing this flagrant violation of their rights to stand, they contacted the Freedom Foundation.

After nearly a dozen phone calls and some good advice, more than 100 of the lifeguards have had their union dues deductions successfully stopped.

As it turns out, CSLEA had forgotten to collect “authorization cards” for nearly 100 of the lifeguards. In other words, they had collected no information that would have allowed them to collect union dues in the first place and were simply hoping the lifeguards would go along with it anyway.

Unfortunately for CSLEA, they didn’t. They found the Freedom Foundation, and we don’t just ignore union chicanery.