According to its website, Working America is a not-for-profit organization that has gone door to door across the county and to date has had "conversations with more than 10.9 million supporters." It also claims to have "3.5 million members nationwide fighting for good jobs and a just economy." I've never heard of them. So, how did they get my number?

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On Sunday night I was in the middle of getting ready for the week ahead when my phone buzzed with a text message from a number I didn't recognize and it read, "I'm Sam with Working America. As many get back to work, we need to make sure our workplaces are safe. Do you want tips on ways to stay safe at work?" I had no idea who Sam or Working America was and so I decided to dig a bit.

According to their website, Working America is a non-profit that speaks up on issues such as "good jobs, affordable health care, and holding corporations and our politicians accountable."  The Working America website claims the organization has been in operation since 2003 and that they are a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO unites working people who are non-unionized employees.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

As a general rule, I always turn to when I have a question about a nonprofit organization because GuideStar keeps a database of 2.2 million IRS-recognized nonprofits and ranks them based on transparency and popularity. My search on GuideStar for Working America (based out of Washington, DC, as per its website) yielded no results even though Working America is listed as a nonprofit on its website and Facebook page.

Worker Centers is "a project of the Center for Union Facts (CUF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to keeping a watchful eye on America’s labor union movement." According to Worker Centers, organizations such as Working America are "able to avoid many legal requirements, including the responsibility to ensure majority support and the duty of fair representation contained in the NLRA. They also dodge the transparency and governance regulations established under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA)."

I'm certainly not saying that Working America is not a reputable nonprofit because I simply don't know enough about the organization to form an opinion. However, just as I would advise researching any random text you get from an individual, business, or organization asking for involvement on your part, I would also suggest you research Working America should they text you, before giving away any of your personal information.

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