Another day, another dawn and a new refund paid in full by the Service Employees International Union, Local 503.
Thanks to the work of Freedom Foundation attorneys, we recently reported two separate cases where Oregon public employees received a combined refund of $2,230 after SEIU 503 illegally deducted monthly fees from workers’ paychecks.
These two were not alone.
Sarah Montgomery, an employee for the Oregon Youth Authority, is the latest worker to have monthly “associate membership” fees deducted from her paycheck without consent.
While the monthly fees are only $10 — and, to the average person, that might not sound like much — SEIU’s scheme continued for a total of 56 months. Ms. Montgomery’s refund was $560.
In case you’ve lost track, this brings the grand total of refunded money up to $2,790.
We’re elated for these workers, but make no mistake: If SEIU’s history is any indication, these refunds were given out of a desperate need to save face and keep the Freedom Foundation from exposing such illicit conduct in court.
When asked why these workers had money taken from their paychecks, SEIU could not give a straight answer.
In one case, they insisted a worker had signed up for the associate membership but provided no proof of consent. In another case, they assured a worker the monthly fees had been deducted “as a courtesy.”
In the third case, they simply sent a check upon receiving a demand letter from Freedom Foundation attorneys.
In all three cases, SEIU has yet to provide copies of any authorization that might explain how these fees could legally be deducted from workers’ paychecks. With five forgery lawsuits against SEIU 503, including one challenge under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, it was already difficult to take SEIU at its word.
These new cases certainly won’t make that any easier.