The “Freedom” Foundation is Violating Oregon’s Workplace Safety Laws
September 2, 2020
Complaint Alleges Anti-Masker Group is Willfully Violating Oregon’s Workplace Safety Measures
Salem, OR – The Northwest Accountability Project (NWAP) has filed a complaint with Oregon OSHA after observing the staff of the “Freedom” Foundation, an anti-masker organization, violating workplace safety laws. This includes the requirement that employees distance while at work and wear a face covering. A similar complaint was filed in Washington State.
In July, the so-called “Freedom” Foundation sued the states of Oregon and Washington over mask requirements. The cases are still pending but unlikely to result in anything.
“Mask requirements and social distancing are the law of the land, and the “Freedom” Foundation staff, like the rest of us, need to follow 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.”
The complaint points to multiple violations that were tracked by NWAP at their office in Salem, OR where staff were seen not wearing face coverings as they sat at their desks merely a few feet apart.
“These violations are clear and they’re irresponsible,” continued Starzynski. “Even though the organization and their staff have fully embraced the junk science being spread on the internet, masks and social distancing save lives. This is about protecting workers, including frontline healthcare workers, whose health they jeopardize by ignoring the science and violating the law. Just because the “Freedom” Foundation doesn’t care about these workers doesn’t mean the laws don’t apply to them.”
Staff and leadership of the “Freedom” Foundation have been known to post on social media about not wearing masks.
Currently, Oregon has nearly 27,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 465 deaths. Nationally, more than 185,000 people have died of COVID-19 as of the writing of this press release.
The “Freedom” Foundation is a political organization trying and failing to destroy unions and help elect extreme, right-wing politicians, in violation of their 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. More recently they have joined the chorus of Covid deniers, presumably to curry favor with right-wing activists as their anti-union campaign bottoms out.
Additionally, they have a history of skirting the law. A judge recently ruled the “Freedom” Foundation pay $80,000 for a campaign finance violation in Washington State and the Washington Attorney General 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 and advocates on behalf of working people in the Northwest. The organization does not coordinate with candidates or party committees.