Freedom Foundation

Silence is Not an Appropriate Answer, say Freedom Foundation Lawyers

Magdalena Nevarez, a California school employee represented by the California State Employees Association (CSEA), wrote to her union last December seeking to opt out of membership and cancel dues payments.

CSEA, characteristically, didn’t respond and continued collecting money from her paycheck.

After months of silence from CSEA, on March 1, Ms. Nevarez contacted Freedom Foundation for help. The organization’s attorneys rolled up their sleeves and sent a letter to CSEA on Ms. Nevarez’s behalf, demanding dues deductions stop immediately, and that CSEA refund the three months of dues deducted from Ms. Nevarez since her letter.

CSEA attempted to brush off its blunder, notifying Ms. Nevarez on March 27 that it received her opt-out letter… three months after she sent it. In April, CSEA stopped siphoning money from Ms. Nevarez’s paycheck and sent a check fully reimbursing her for the dues deducted since her objection.

In the meantime, on Feb. 7, another California school employee, Marie Six, wrote to CSEA to opt out of membership and cancel her dues deductions. A CSEA representative followed up with her a few days later, demanding she provide her reasons for opting out.

CSEA received Ms. Six’s letter, but it did not process her request and continued collecting money from her.

Ms. Six, too, asked the Freedom Foundation for help and the organization’s lawyers dispatched another letter to CSEA. After continued prodding, the union finally sent Ms. Six a refund check for the dues deducted since her objection.

Ms. Six wrote,

Without (the Freedom Foundation), I doubt they would have let me go. Please keep up the good work for others in my position. Will never forget what you did for me. Never.

Thanks to Freedom Foundation holding unions accountable, two more California employees are free to exercise their constitutional rights.