Harassment through state email: What to do

Posted Dec. 4, 2019 by

UPDATE: Members are starting to receive anti-union direct mail pieces at their homes from the Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today. This means they also have acquired members' home addresses without their permission. This is not okay! OCSEA is taking this very seriously since an Ohio Supreme Court case ruled that state employee home addresses are exempt from the open records law. Learn how to UNSUBSCRIBE from ALL Freedom Foundation/Opt Out Today communications HERE.

An anti-union, out-of-state group funded by the Koch family has officially begun targeting state employee union members with anti-union messaging through the illegitimate use of state emails under the name Opt Out Today. To date, the group has solicited with two emails in less than a week. Your union, OCSEA, has already contacted the Department of Administrative Services to demand they stop this unsolicited harassment of state employee union members through state email immediately. OCSEA believes this continued harassment at work is disruptive and could be in violation of the state’s own email policy and possibly the law.

But we need your help. Here are steps you can take NOW:

  1. If you receive an email, forward it to if possible and let your local union leadership know.
  2. Block and mark as Junk.
  3. Send an email to telling them “The Freedom Foundation sent me this SPAM at work without my permission. Please ask them to stop sending emails to me.”

Union members are also beginning to receive harassing anti-union calls at their homes. If you or other co-workers receive a robo call (message with no live person), report it to the Consumer Bureau of the Federal Trade Commission. Go HERE to see how. Visit the FTC FAQ page to see what types of robo calls are allowable by law.

The group behind this fraudulent campaign, the Freedom Foundation, aims to lower state employee wages and benefits, dismantle health care and pensions and privatize government jobs. They recently obtained your name, state email, job title, seniority date, hire date, annual rate of pay, bargaining unit number and date of birth. They also tried to get your home address and phone number. In other states, the group has shown up at people’s homes and workplaces to try to get them to drop their union membership. And they are beginning the same tactics here in Ohio, by targeting members through state email and showing up at workplaces in downtown Columbus.

Let's be clear. This well-funded, anti-union group knows your union and the solidarity of workers is the only thing standing in their way. They know that Ohio's union voice is strong and solid. But they will use any means possible to destroy our union power, including rigging the rules in their favor, lying about their motives, and trying to get members to drop their union membership to weaken our collective power.

But, here's the thing. They are right about one thing, and one thing only. Our members ARE STRONG, and they know that real freedom is the freedom employees have in Ohio to stand together, secure a union contract, provide for our families and contribute to the common good.

Learn more about the anti-union group at

Read more: Outside group given access to state emails