Union officials violate girl’s legal rights by initiating proceedings against her for filming a nonunion commercial, even though she was not a union member
Los Angeles, CA (January 28, 2020) – With free legal aid from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, 12-year-old actress Aundrea Smith filed unfair labor practice charges against the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) union for violating her legal rights under federal labor law.
Smith filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) after union officials initiated internal union proceedings and threatened to impose union “discipline” – likely a fine – on Smith for filming a nonunion commercial, even though she was not a union member at the time. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits union officials from imposing union “discipline” on nonmembers.
Smith did join SAG-AFTRA in April 2019, one month after filming the commercial, but subsequently resigned her union membership upon learning of her rights under the NLRA in August 2019. The NLRA provides that an individual cannot be forced to join a union just to get or keep a job and guarantees individuals the absolute right to resign their union membership whenever they choose.
Earlier this month, Communication Workers of America (CWA) union officials were forced to settle a similar case with Florida worker Jared Brewer, who is employed by AT&T. Union officials refused to acknowledge Brewer’s union membership resignation while on military leave. Then union officials unlawfully attempted to impose union “discipline” on Brewer for returning to work during a work stoppage, even though he had already resigned as a union member.
“The NLRB must intervene to halt this blatant and unlawful abuse of power by SAG-AFTRA union officials against this young actress,” said National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix. “We’re proud to stand with Aundrea who is standing up for her rights against this shameful bullying by union bosses.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.