As was previously reported, an anti-union group called the “Freedom Foundation” recently filed a Public Records Act request to obtain personal, sensitive information, including DOC and DES Teamsters' full names and dates of birth from the State.
In an effort to protect you from what we perceived as a serious and offensive violation of your privacy, we responded by immediately filing a lawsuit to prevent the State from complying with this group’s misplaced request.
We were rewarded for our efforts today when Judge Mary Sue Wilson of the Thurston County Superior Court issued a preliminary injunction, temporarily preventing the Freedom Foundation from receiving members’ private information.
Our arguments were based primarily on four legal theories:
- The Freedom Foundation planned to use this information for commercial purposes,
- The disclosure of this information would violate our members’ statutory right to privacy,
- Providing this information would be an unlawful use of state resources, and
- This action, if performed by the state, would indirectly facilitate an unfair labor practice.
The Freedom Foundation claimed that information, such as members’ dates of birth and work email addresses, is important for non-commercial purposes. This thinly-veiled argument seemed to be settled when the group’s attorney stumbled when confronted about the legitimate purpose of the information.
Judge Wilson ultimately held that the Freedom Foundation’s postings on its own website pointed to possible commercial use of the information they requested, which was the basis for her decision in granting the preliminary junction.
The injunction will be valid until June 27, 2016, and a trial on the merits will be held within the next four weeks to determine whether this injunction will remain in place after that time.