The controversy surrounding union boss Mickey Kasparian and the sexual harassment and intimidation allegations against him have now spilled over to another influential union and an affiliated nonprofit.
On March 9, Nohelia Ramos Campos filed a complaint for employee discrimination with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing against San Diego's chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. The agency receives funding from the Service Employees International Union Local 221 and the United Commercial Food Workers union, where Kasparian serves as president.
According to the complaint, an agent of the employees union demanded that Ramos Campos and her husband (an SEIU Local 221 employee) publicly state their support for Kasparian and criticize the lawsuits against him that allege he sexually harassed, intimidated, and discriminated against three women in his office. When Ramos Campos and her husband resisted doing so, the managing agent for the Service Employees International Union, Melody Godinez, allegedly took action.
Ramos Campos's husband (not named in the complaint) was fired from his job not long after. As for Ramos Campos, she says that her superiors at the Alliance for Community Empowerment non-profit pressured her to express support for Kasparian and criticized her for posting comments on social media websites in support of Kasparian's accusers. The complaint also alleges that Kasparian hinted at pulling funding for the non-profit if Ramos Campos continued her advocacy.
Ramos Campos’s bosses, says the letter to the state, used a letter she wrote criticizing the nonprofit for a "culture" of oppression as a reason to launch an investigation that could ultimately lead to her termination.
The letter criticized the local chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment for allowing "white supremacy and other systems of oppression [to] show up in the workplace."
After submitting the letter, Ramos Campos was notified that she was the subject of an internal investigation.
"Clearly, [the letter] was activity protected by [the Department of Fair and Equal Housing]," reads the March 9 complaint. "Nonetheless, [Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment] punished [Ramos Campos] for this letter and other protected activity, such as her and her husband`s refusal to support Mickey Kasparian, by launching an unwarranted, pretextual investigation that...informed [Ramos Campos] could result in her termination."
(corrected 8:40 a.m., 3/14)