Know Your Rights
Know your rights – Important changes are here
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of Janus v. AFSCME centered around your First Amendment right to freedom of speech and now allows you to stop paying union dues.
Can I opt out of my Minnesota public union?
The U.S. Supreme Court said, "Yes," but the State of Minnesota and public unions are making it hard for employees to exercise their right to resign. That is why we created EmployeeFreedomMN. Employees across Minnesota are successfully resigning, and when unions push back, employees are getting informed; some have filed lawsuits to protect their Janus Rights. We are your resource for staying up to date as these matters develop.
Here’s what we can Do to help you.
Do you need help opting out? Need help navigating the paperwork? Fill out this form.
Do you have a story you want to share about your experience? Has your union restricted your right to resign? If so, you may have a legal claim. Tell us your story here.
Simply want to stay up to date? Sign up for alerts here.
“Why would I consider opting out of paying dues to the union?”
Why would I consider opting out of paying dues to the union?
There are many reasons, and they are all based on personal choices.
For example, you may prefer to spend your union dues on your family. You may feel that the union does not respect the diversity of political issues that are represented across your workplace. You may simply feel the union is not giving you good representation. After learning more, you may decide that being in a union is the right choice after all. Your union will continue to represent you, like it has been, regardless of the Janus decision. The point is, you get to decide. This is about having a choice.
If I choose to stop paying dues to my union, won’t I lose all of the security that a union provides?
No. Some things will not change whether you stay in your union or not.
The union, under Minnesota law, will still represent you in contract negotiations; you will have the same rights and benefits you did before the Janus decision. Regardless of your membership status, you cannot be treated differently and are always protected by Minnesota State Law and the Constitution.
Am I sending a message if I choose to separate from the union?
Union membership is a private, personal choice made by you and your family.
There are many possible reasons for wanting to opt out of paying union dues. Exercising your rights is a good and private decision. You do not owe anyone an explanation.
It’s about choice.
It comes down to whether being a part of a public union is the best choice for your family.
You may have heard that this is about “taking sides.” We disagree because we are all on the same side – the side of all Minnesota public employees. This is about what is best for you and your family. Financial and legal decisions should always come down to personal choice.
Calculate your opt-out window.
You may have been told that you have an opt-out or resignation “window” based on when you signed a dues-authorization card (or the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement). In order to calculate this “window,” you need to request by email a copy of your union card from your union; it is also a good idea to ask your union to calculate your “window.” After you have a copy of your union card, use the online calculator below to determine or confirm your resignation “window.”
Online Date Calculator (opens in new window)
For example, let’s say your “opt-out window” is “not less than 30 days and not more than 45 days” before the anniversary date of the card. Go to the online calculator and enter the month and the day you signed your card. (The year does not matter.) First, subtract 30 days from that date and note the date by scrolling down. Second, start a new calculation to subtract 45 days to get your second date. The time between those dates is your opt-out window.
We know this can be confusing, so here is an example: If you signed your card on March 15, your window to resign is January 29 (45 days before) to February 13 (30 days before).
We recommend keeping a written record of the correspondence with your union. Unions are mostly cooperating with these requests. If you would like a step-by-step guide to opting out, along with a sample opt-out letter you can send to your union, fill out this form.
What if my window is months away, or I want to resign outside my window?
You may not want to wait until the union “window” to resign. Tell us your story. We may be able to help.