Fifth SEIU Official Ousted After Being Accused of Sexual Assault

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Another official at the Service Employees International Union has been ousted following accusations of sexual assault.

Pedro Malave was first fired from a local Boston-area SEIU chapter in 2014, only to be later rehired at two other local chapters in California, the labor website Payday Report reported last week. Politico‘s Morning Shift newsletter flagged the report on Monday and confirmed that the locals dismissed Malave after they learned of his past alleged conduct.

In the summer of 2014, the Boston-area 32BJ SEIU Local 615 investigated Malave, then the assistant director, after a co-worker, Daria Alladio, accused him of sexual assault. She alleged that, in 2008, Malave stuck his hand up her skirt and "put his hand in-between her butt cheeks," according to the Payday Report, and then awoke one night in April 2014 to discover Malave masturbating against her check.

Two California locals then hired Malave in management roles. He first worked as an organizer with SEIU United Healthcare Workers West and then as a regional field coordinator for a separate local, SEIU United Service Workers West.

The union said it was unaware of the allegations against Malave until last week.

When informed of Malave's past accusations following the Payday Report story, SEIU United Service Workers West parted ways with Malave.

"SEIU USWW has zero tolerance for sexual harassment or sexual violence, and had we had prior knowledge of any misconduct or harassment allegations against Mr. Malave, we would never have hired him," USWW spokesperson Stephen Boardman said in a statement.

A union official told Politico‘s Morning Shift that SEIU locals, which are separately incorporated, have no centralized system to share records and each have their own human resources departments.

Malave's firing follows the departure of four other top SEIU officials. Last month, SEIU executive vice president Scott Courtney, one of the top labor figures in the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign, resigned from the union after seven people told BuzzFeed News that he had engaged in sexual harassment. SEIU president Mary Kay Henry had first suspended Courtney based on preliminary information from an internal investigation before his resignation.

In the span of a few weeks, SEIU Chicago leader Caleb Jennings resigned, deputy organizing director Kendall Fells resigned, and Detroit leader Mark Raleigh was fired over similar charges of sexual harassment. All three men were key leaders in the Fight for $15 campaign.