Step-by-Step Guide to Opting Out
You can create your resignation letter below. Please follow the instructions carefully and keep paper and electronic copies of all your correspondence.
Before you get started:
Minnesota public-sector unions restrict your right to resign from membership to a brief annual “window” or “revocation period” based on the date you signed your union card. EmployeeFreedomMN believes these union restrictions unreasonably burden the First Amendment right recognized in Janus v. AFSCME. The State of Minnesota, however, is enforcing the union “windows.” For now, you have two choices if you want to resign:
If you have a copy of your union card, you can resign during your window period. The resignation form letter generated below requests a copy of the union card and dates for the window period. If you already have your card and know your dates, you can delete that language from the form letter. (If you want to challenge the window period, please contact us using the Tell Us Your Story form before sending the letter.) If you need help calculating your opt out window, see below.
If you do not have a copy of your union card, or you want to challenge the window period, you can attempt to resign outside of your window period. While it is unlikely, the union may honor your request. It is more likely that the union will send you a form letter rejecting your resignation because it is outside of the window. But do not expect the union to send you a copy of your union card or give you the window period. That is why the resignation form letter generated below requests a copy of the union card and dates for the window period. By resigning outside of the window with the form letter, the union may cooperate and send you the information you need to resign. (Then you can resign during the window period.)
If you do not have a copy of your union card but would like to try and contact your union to get it, click here. We have compiled a list of unions to assist you in requesting your union card.
Once you have decided which approach you want to take, please follow these steps:
1. Notify the Union. We recommend that you send the resignation letter to your union by certified mail, return receipt. Be sure the letter is postmarked within the window period. (You can email the letter, as well, to make sure the letter is delivered within the window period.)
For a helpful list of union addresses, click here. (This will open in a new window so you don’t lose your spot on this page!)
2. Notify Your Employer. On the same date, you should notify your employer by mailing, emailing or hand delivering a copy of the resignation letter to your payroll department or a supervisor.
3. Look for Union Letter or Email. The union should accept your immediate resignation if you are resigning during your window period. But if you are resigning outside the window period, watch for a form letter rejecting your resignation and advising you on how to get your union card. That is why the resignation letter generated below requests your card and window period. We do not know if the unions will send that information to you. You may have to ask the union more than once for your card and window period.
4. Check Your Paystub. Your employer may not stop deducting dues until the union notifies the employer that you are no longer a member. But check your paystub after the next pay period to see if your employer has stop deducting dues. You will probably have to check back again after the union acknowledges your successful resignation to make sure your employer has stopped the deduction of dues.
5. Create a File. Keep a paper and electronic copy of the letter and detailed notes on the steps you took to resign. It is good idea to keep an electronic and/or paper copy of the emails, too.
6. Make Plans for How to Spend Your Savings!
Sample opt-out letter:
Below is a sample opt-out letter you can cut and paste into a document editor of your choice. Alternatively, click here to access a Google Doc with the sample opt-out letter. From there, you can click File > Download As in order to copy the file to your computer in the format of your choice, such as a Word document.
NOTE: It is recommended that you send this letter by certified mail, return receipt.
At the same time that you resign from the union, you should also notify your employer.
Cut and paste letter for editing
[insert your name]
[insert your mailing address]
[insert your employee number if known]
[insert name of appropriate union officer]
[insert name of union]
[insert address of union]
Dear [insert name of appropriate union officer]:
I am employed by [name of employer]. Effective immediately, I hereby resign from membership in the local union and its state and national affiliates. I hereby notify the union that I am revoking any prior authorization or consent, if ever given, for the deduction of union dues or any other fee, or to any auto-enroll feature for membership or for the payment of any dues, PAC contribution, or any other fee.
Furthermore, I authorize the union to instruct my employer to stop the deduction of union dues and any fees immediately.
If you refuse to accept this letter as both an effective resignation and an immediately effective dues check-off revocation, I ask that you promptly inform me, in writing, of exactly what steps I must take to effectuate my revocation of the dues check-off authorization. More specifically, if you contend that I can only resign during a "window period,” I ask that you promptly send me a copy of the dues deduction authorization form that I signed, and tell me specifically what "window period" dates I must meet to revoke the dues check-off authorization.
Please promptly acknowledge this notice. Any further collection or expenditure of dues or any other fees from me will violate my rights under the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S. Code § 1983, and the U.S. Constitution, resulting in possible litigation and liability for the local union, its affiliates, and my employer.
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).