The California Federation of Teachers Legal Defense Fund (CFT LDF) is the legal fund of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the second largest teachers union in California and a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the AFL-CIO.
The CFT LDF finances the CFT’s legal matters. The organization also provides grants to local chapters of the CFT to fund legal matters. 1 In 2018, the CFT LDF paid out $63,555 in grants, which was a decrease of almost 50% from the previous year. 2
Throughout the 1970s, the CFT LDF financed ongoing legal disputes between the California Federation of Teachers’s United Professors of Marin, Local 1610 (UPM) and numerous community colleges. The UPM sued the California government for years to enforce the “50% Law,” which mandated that community colleges must direct 50% of their expenses toward teachers and instructors. The UPM ultimately won its lawsuit and gained back pay for its teachers as well as establishing a precedent for enforcement throughout the state. 3
Dolores Sanchez v. California Federation of Teachers
In 2014, California Federation of Teachers was sued for mental illness-based discrimination by Dolores Sanchez, a 23-year employee and the first non-white legislative representative in the union. Sanchez alleged that after she was assigned additional duties by male superiors and passed over for a promotion she deserved, she took a leave of absence due to depression and then was pressured by her bosses to quit the union. The CFT LDF financed the CFT’s defense and ultimately won the case. 4
- “Legal Defense Funds.” California Federation of Teachers. Accessed December 16, 2020. https://www.cft.org/node/1426.
- “California Federation of Teachers Legal Defense Fund Form 990.” IRS. Accessed December 16, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/510188170/01_2020_prefixes_47-51%2F510188170_201812_990O_2020011617038060.
- “United Professors of Marin, Local 1610.” California Federation of Teachers. Accessed December 16, 2020. https://www.cft.org/post/united-professors-marin-local-1610.
- “Dolores’s Story.” Mental Health Justice. Accessed December 16, 2020. http://www.mentalhealthjustice.net/what-we-do.