Stroeder v. SEIU Local 503

Employees should not be misled to believe they must join a union when it is their right to deny participation without consent.

Colleen Stroeder has worked for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) as an executive support specialist since 2008. Upon starting her position, Stroeder’s supervisor led her to believe that she was required to join SEIU Local 503 and pay union dues.

After the Supreme Court’s June 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Stroeder learned of her right to join or not to join a union, and her newly reaffirmed right not to pay the government union to keep her government job. At the time, Stroeder was paying nearly $800 per year in union dues.

She sent a letter to her union rep. on August 28, 2018, to resign her membership and cease dues deductions. However, the union refused her request, and pointed to an arbitrary opt-out window that had already passed just weeks before. On April 23, 2019, she again demanded that the union cease dues deductions, but heard no response back.

Attorneys at the Liberty Justice Center are now representing Stroeder in a lawsuit against SEIU Local 503, ODOT and the Governor of Oregon, Kate Brown. Stroeder is requesting not only a refund of her union dues, but is also challenging the Oregon state law that codifies the arbitrary resignation period which allowed SEIU to continue to violate her First Amendment rights and trap her in the union against her will.


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Case Documents

July 30, 2019
Memorandum in Support of Preliminary Injunction
Exhibit. 1
October 30, 2019
December 6, 2019
December 17, 2019
December 17, 2019
December 19, 2019



Stroeder v. SEIU Local 503


July 30, 2019


United States District Court, District of Oregon, Portland Division




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