Unions Have a Sexual Harassment Problem

Harvey Weinstein’s closet isn’t the only one with skeletons in it. America’s labor movement, which has long touted is pro-worker bona fides has a troubling harassment history of its own.

Female employees of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Executive Vice President Scott Courtney, who had led the union’s aggressive Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign, recently resigned from his post after complaints surfaced about his relationships with female staffers.

More than a dozen current and former SEIU staffers claims “complaints about top-level staff on the Fight for 15 campaign, including Courtney, were an open secret, and that complaints about abusive and aggressive behavior by some organizers who reported to Courtney led to no action.

Courtney is not alone. The SEIU placed Mark Raleigh, another Fight for $15 official, on administrative leave for misconduct. The union also had to fire the leader of its Fight for $15 campaign in Illinois, Caleb Jennings, who allegedly shoved a female subordinate against a door frame.

This is cruelly ironic given that Fight for $15 has repeatedly vow to reduce “rampant sexual harassment in fast food restaurants.”

Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.