PennDOT employee accuses union officers of sexism in lawsuit

(The Heart Sq.) – The Pennsylvania Division of Transportation and AFSCME have been sued by a union employee alleging sexism and self-dealing in violation of union guidelines.

Mindy McFetridge, a 10-year PennDOT worker in Venango County, is suing resulting from a “deliberate and unexplained failure to uphold and implement seniority rights,” in response to the grievance. McFetridge alleges that union and state officers discriminated towards her in favor of a circle of male union officers, who saved one another working throughout COVID-19 whereas she was laid off.

Reasonably than persist with seniority guidelines that govern which staff work, McFetridge alleges favoritism lower her out of labor that pressured her to make use of paid day off after which gather unemployment. As a substitute, a union crew in Venango County saved working whereas she was laid off, although she had seniority forward of three of the employees.

“McFetridge alleges that the crew was solely allowed to proceed working in defiance of collectively bargained seniority rights as a result of it included males who had been members of the union’s government board and pals and kinfolk of the president of the native AFSCME Council 13 affiliate,” in response to a press launch from the Equity Heart, a nonprofit public curiosity regulation agency representing her.

When she complained, she was advised there was nothing she might do about it. When McFetridge went to union officers to file a grievance, they refused to file one. That left her with few choices.

“Unions sometimes management the grievance course of and implementing collective bargaining rights on behalf of the staff who’re to profit from a collective bargaining settlement,” mentioned John Sweeney, communications supervisor for the Equity Heart. “If unions select to disclaim an worker’s request to file a grievance, there’s nothing the worker can do about it.”

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“Union officers are supposed to guard their members, not play favorites,” Equity Heart Vice President and Senior Litigation Counsel Danielle Acker Susanj mentioned. “However Council 13 officers selected to indulge a bunch of well-connected males over Mindy, despite the fact that she had earned extra seniority than a few of them. It’s 2022, not 1919. The union must be ashamed.”