Another executive in the largest health care sector union in the U.S. is facing sexual misconduct allegations less than a year after several others were purged under similar circumstances.
Dave Regan is vice president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and president of one of SEIU’s largest locals, SEIU-UHW, which claims 100,000 members across California. A staffer at SEIU-UHW, 40-year-old Mindy Sturge, is suing the union after allegedly suffering sexual misconduct from Regan, as well as from one other SEIU-UHW official, former SEIU-UHW division director Marcus Hatcher, according to the Payday Report.
Sturge first filed a complaint with the union’s Human Resources department, but Regan — who is ultimately in charge of dealing with such complaints — and Hatcher retaliated against her, berating her publicly, according to the lawsuit, obtained by Payday Report. Hatcher was eventually fired from the union for violating its non-fraternization policy.
“Sturge and other women employees, and women union members were the subjects of inappropriate remarks that addressed their looks, their bodies, and their availability/interest in relationships,” the lawsuit states. “Sturge was also subjected to offensive touching, and she and others were discussed in inappropriate texts and in comments heard by or related to Sturge.”
A spokesman for the SEIU-UHW denied the allegations against Regan made in the lawsuit.
“We don’t believe the lawsuit has merit and we intend to defend the organization,” SEIU-UHW spokesman Steve Trossman told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email. “SEIU-UHW received a complaint by an employee about a senior manager in the union. We immediately hired an outside law firm to investigate the complaint and gave the investigators complete access to documents and witnesses.”
“At the conclusion of the investigation, a decision was made to terminate Marcus Hatcher’s employment for violation of our harassment and fraternization policies. We stand by the actions the organization took in handling that matter,” Trossman added.
Regan fired Hatcher as the result of an outside investigation into harassment allegations against Hatcher. Regan and Sturge also got into an argument during a board meeting, but “it in no way was harassment or berating or retaliation,” Trossman said.
The SEIU lost half a dozen high-ranking officials, either through retirement or from firing, in the past year after sexual harassment or abuse charges were leveled against them. (RELATED: Fifth Official Outed From SEIU After Sexual Abuse Allegation)
The union has been dealing with the fallout from the allegations and lawsuits for months. It agreed to set up an external advisory group in 2017 to help investigate instances of sexual harassment. The move was likely to help control damage from serious charges leveled at the union as an institution that protects and promotes sexual abuse at the highest levels of union leadership.
Several SEIU employees accused the union of maintaining a “broad environment of misogyny” after the SEIU suspended executive vice president Scott Courtney while investigators determined if he violated the union’s ethical code and nepotism policy by rewarding and promoting staffers he allegedly had affairs with.
“His behavior didn’t change. He had an attitude of entitlement and misogyny and the feeling he could get away with really egregious comments,” a SEIU staffer said in October 2017. “Most HR processes for investigating sexual harassment [represent] a culture of protecting the organization.”
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.