PRESS RELEASE: Complaint Alleges the Freedom Foundation is Violating Washington’s SafeStart Workplace Safety Measures For “Essential” Businesses
August 27, 2020
For Immediate Release
August 27, 2020
Peter Starzynski, Executive Director
Complaint Alleges the Freedom Foundation is Violating Washington’s SafeStart Workplace Safety Measures For “Essential” Businesses
Olympia, WA – The Northwest Accountability Project (NWAP) has filed multiple complaints with Washington State, alleging the “Freedom” Foundation is violating workplace safety laws for “essential” businesses, a status they were surprisingly granted earlier in 2020. This includes the requirement that employees distance while at work and wear a face covering.
“Mask requirements and social distancing are the law of the land, and the so-called Freedom Foundation is not above the law,” said Peter Starzynski, Executive Director of the NWAP, a watchdog organization that closely tracks extremist groups in the Northwest. “Safety measures are in place to protect vulnerable populations and frontline workers. We call on the Freedom Foundation to act responsibly in compliance with the law and protect our frontline workers.”
The complaint points to multiple violations that were tracked by NWAP at the Freedom Foundation’s headquarters in Olympia when numerous staff, including the head receptionist, were seen not wearing face coverings as they interacted with each other and an NWAP representative. It also points to multiple videos they have made and published showing their staff, and members of the general public, sitting close to each other, without wearing masks.
“The violations are clear, and the ramifications could be deadly as the virus rampages through our communities,” continued Starzynski. “Groups like the Freedom Foundation are abusing state laws and putting our workers at great risk. It is wrong and needs to stop.”
Currently, Washington has more than 75,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 2,000 deaths. Nationally, more than 180,000 people have died of COVID-19 as of the drafting of this press release. The “Freedom” Foundation was given its “essential” business status in March, which forces them to comply with Washington’s laws for “essential” businesses. In July, they sued Washington State because of mask requirements. That case is still pending but not likely to result in anything.
The “Freedom” Foundation is a political organization that has spent more than $20 million trying and failing to destroy unions to help elect extremist politicians in Washington State, in violation of their 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. They have a history of violating the law. A judge recently ruled the “Freedom” Foundation pay $80,000 for a campaign finance violation and the Washington AG has called them a “repeat offender of our campaign finance laws.”
The Northwest Accountability Project is a watchdog organization dedicated to shining a light on extremism and the moneyed special interests that attempt to bring an agenda of hate and division in the Northwest. The organization does not coordinate with candidates or party committees.