Big Win for Washington Public Employee Union Members’ Privacy Against Disclosure of Personally Identifying Information for the Purpose of Discouraging Union Membership

On October 31, 2017, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington granted a win for public sector unions in granting a permanent injunction blocking the Freedom Foundation’s access to union member contact information for the purposes of attempting to dissuade them from union membership. The decision, available here, found that state employees have a “constitutionally protected expectation of privacy in their full names associated with their corresponding birthdates,” that the disclosure is not in the public interest, and that the employees have a “well-grounded fear of immediate invasion of that right because the agencies who have received the PRA requests have indicated that they will disclose the requested records unless prevented by court order.” The Freedom Foundation’s battle for private information also continues to play out in Oregon.