California’s notorious SEIU-UHW is being sued for sexual harassment by a former long-term employee who is accusing the union of ‘discrimination, battery, harassment, defamation, and gender violence.’
California’s SEIU-UHW, a 40,000 member mega-local of the Service Employees International Union, has been hit with a lawsuit (in full below) by a former staffer who alleges that the union and a former executive engaged in “discrimination, battery, harassment, defamation, and gender violence,” according to a blog critical of SEIU leadership.
The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court in May 2018, names both the union and Marcus Hatcher, a former top union official, as defendants.
Among other allegations, the lawsuit claims that SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan and other top officials made inappropriate comments about women staffers’ looks, their bodies, and their availability/interest in relationships and also engaged in “offensive touching,”
The main offender in the suit, former SEIU-UHW executive Marcus Hatcher was reportedly fired last year over alleged sexual misconduct.
When Hatcher was fired, the SEIU also reportedly fired staffer Mindy Sturge, the plaintiff in the lawsuit against SEIU-UHW.
Sturge makes a number of claims in her suit which, if proven true, could be very damaging and costly to the SEIU’s reputation in California.
Among the charges leveled against the union, Sturge claims that that Hatcher physically battered her during a work meeting on September 28, 2017 which caused her to suffer “a head injury and bruising for which she sought medical attention.”
To make matters worse, according to the suit:
“Sturge was subjected to a hostile work environment created by Hatcher’s inappropriate behavior toward women, as well as other inappropriate behavior by co-workers, including other managers with whom Sturge worked. This behavior included unwanted flirting, pressure to engage in personal relationships, and remarks that were demeaning toward Sturge and other women…
“Despite her reports of this behavior (and other reports of prior unethical behavior by Hatcher and other SEIU-UHW employees), SEIU-UHW took no action to discipline Hatcher or others who created a hostile work environment, nor did SEIU-UHW undertake an investigation of Hatcher’s behavior until Sturge had been assaulted by him. SEIU-UHW had a pattern of accepting such behavior and even went so far as to hire male staff members who had previously been fired from other unions for assaulting and/or harassing women, all of which SEIU-UHW knew or should have known at the time of hiring. One such member was hired to work directly with Sturge and engaged in unwanted and inappropriate behavior with Sturge and women co-workers.”
Of course, all of this still has to be heard in a court of law.
However, with all the the other cases around the country involving high-ranking SEIU officials allegedly engaging in sexually-inappropriate behavior with staffers, it may be that the SEIU-UHW quietly settles this case.
Given that the SEIU-UHW rakes in over $24 million per year in union fees paid by its members, it certainly has the money to make this case go away.