When Renee (not her real name) was given a blank SEIU 2015 membership card with a stack of paperwork at a new employee orientation, she hesitated to sign it. An impatient staffer stood over her shoulder, however, urging her to simply sign it without reading. It was just another required form, like all the other papers, she was assured.
When Renee learned an hour later that she was not required to sign the card, she tried to retrieve it. But it was too late. The union wouldn’t let her take back the card.
During the weeks that followed, Renee made numerous phone calls, wrote emails and sent letters to the union, each bringing a promise to “investigate,” but nothing ever came of it.
John (also not his real name) also fell victim to SEIU 2015 when the union began deducting dues from his paycheck, despite his explicit rejection of membership (even circling “no” on the proffered membership card).
The union did its own internal investigation, which (surprise) found no wrongdoing on SEIU’s part. Meanwhile, union officials completely ignored his request to see a copy of the card he had allegedly signed and continued to deduct dues John had never authorized.
The Freedom Foundation is continually battling unions like SEIU 2015 in the courts over their illegal and unconstitutional actions aimed at public employees who simply want to exercise their First Amendment rights and choose where their own dollars go.
Some of the most egregious union actions, however, never make it to court. The Freedom Foundation is often able to settle these without litigation with a simple letter sent by an attorney.
In many cases like Renee’s and John’s, the Freedom Foundation is able to secure immediate termination of membership and deductions, and even a discontinuation of dues.
The unions cower when they receive these letters because they know they’re in the wrong, and they know the Freedom Foundation is not afraid to back up strong words with action.
Freedom Foundation lawyers have brought them to court before, and they know that when our logo makes its way to their mailbox, they need to prepare to either pay back what they took or pay a lawyer to cover up their actions in court.
Demand letters like these make it possible for the Freedom Foundation to represent a variety of employees that they otherwise would lack the bandwidth to represent in lawsuits.
Because these cases cost nothing and have a very quick turnaround time (usually the employee can have the matter resolved in a matter of weeks), they have become a very powerful tool against public unions that want to keep their power and money above all else.
Usually, the unions realize that the costs of litigation aren’t worth hiding their mistakes. But when they don’t, the Freedom Foundation is willing to make good on its promises in court.