Friday, April 26, 2019

Lawsuit Alleges Another Sexual Scandal inside SEIU

SEIU continues to face allegations of sexual misconduct nearly two years after it grabbed headlines for scandals surrounding SEIU EVP Scott Courtney, several Fight for $15 staffers, a top official at 1199SEIU in Boston, and SEIU-UHW.

In one of the most recent episodes, SEIU’s second-largest local union was hit with a civil lawsuit by a former female organizer alleging that three male co-workers sexually assaulted her during an offsite work event. 

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, names SEIU Local 2015 and three of its male staffers as defendants.

The suit alleges that the three male staffers committed assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and defamation in an episode that’s reminiscent of the infamous one allegedly carried out by conservative Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during a high school party.

Here’s what happened at a “work function” in Chicago, according to the lawsuit by the female SEIU organizer:
“Despite Plaintiff’s repeated statements that she was not interested in sex with him, Defendant #1 grabbed Plaintiff by the arm, took his penis out of his pants, and attempted to penetrate Plaintiff with it. Defended #2 restrained Plaintiff and prevented her from escaping while Defendant #1 attempted to rape her. Defendant #3, a supervisor for Defendant SEIU, watched the entire incident, verbally encouraging Defendants #1 and #2.”

A source inside Local 2015 tells Tasty that despite the lawsuit’s allegations, the union returned two of the defendants to work. And the local hired Glenn Rothner -- a lawyer whom SEIU often hires to fight decertification campaigns -- to defend itself against the suit.

Rothner recently filed a motion seeking to remove Local 2015 as a defendant. He argues that the union should not be held liable “because sexual assault is not within the course and scope of employment of the employees of unions.” Nice argument.

The lawsuit comes two years after #MeToo scandals forced SEIU President Mary Kay Henry to appoint an external advisory group to determine what practices SEIU could enact to stop sexual abuse within the union.

Hmmm. Sounds like Mary Kay Henry was not too successful.

And the suit comes at roughly the same time that Local 2015 decided to flaunt its impeccable moral judgment by re-hiring a disgraced former staffer, Rickman Jackson, who was removed from his job in 2008 for stealing $33,500 from the union’s low-waged members while serving as the Chief of Staff to the union’s then-president, Tyrone Freeman.