By Ken Stone
Updated at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 2017
Mickey Kasparian has company. A new lawsuit by former employee Sandy Naranjo accuses her labor union of failing to represent her and conspiracy to get her to drop a grievance.Dan Gilleon, her San Diego attorney in an earlier case against the powerful labor boss, says Kasparian conspired with the union against Naranjo and invaded her privacy by sharing private employment records.
The suit filed Friday in San Diego Superior Court seeks unspecified damages exceeding $25,000 for lost wages and mental suffering.
It names Kasparian, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135; the Federation of Agents and International Representatives; and Steven Marrs, president of Roseville-based FAIR.
FAIR is a labor union within UFCW that represents organizers such as Naranjo and Anabel Arauz, who also has accused FAIR of failing to represent her.
Naranjo — a 29-year-old mother who boasts an Organizer of the Year award — was fired Dec. 9 from Local 135 for what she calls political retaliation.
(Her husband, Andrew McKercher, works for IBEW Local 569, which has sided with Democratic Party opponents of those backed by Kasparian.)
Kasparian has denied that accusation and others from women in his office, including a former employee suing for sex harassment and a current employee who has complained to the state about demotion, retaliation and a hostile work environment.Naranjo’s new suit says Paul Supat, a representative of FAIR, had urged her to file a grievance in addition to the original lawsuit.
But Supat “demanded without right or reason that Naranjo meet with Kasparian face to face without her attorney present,” the suit alleges. “Also, Mr. Supat refused to provide Naranjo with Local 135’s statement regarding her termination or any supporting documentation.”
Later, Supat blamed Naranjo’s “failure to cooperate” as the reason the grievance was to be withdrawn, the suit said.
“You both know this is an absurd fabrication,” Gilleon said in a letter to Supat and FAIR President Marrs. “You both know — because I have made it abundantly clear — that the only reason why Ms. Naranjo is withdrawing her grievance is Mr. Supat’s unsupportable demand that she attend a meeting with a litigant/party opponent without her litigation counsel.”
Gilleon added in the Jan. 4 letter: “Mr. Supat, I ask you again, what is your motivation to have Ms. Naranjo attend a private meeting, without legal representation, with a person she has sued, who is also represented by counsel? We know you have been speaking with Mr. Kasparian. Why do you so badly want him to meet with Ms. Naranjo without me there?”The suit alleges that Kasparian shared Naranjo’s employment file and records with Marrs and FAIR, which “intentionally intruded into Naranjo’s privacy rights. Defendants’ intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.”
General and punitive damages are being sought, but a jury trial has not been demanded for Naranjo, who no longer is a member of FAIR.
Marrs should not have been hired by FAIR, the suit further says, because he is “unfit to represent anyone, especially women.”
According to Florida court records reviewed by Times of San Diego, Steven Dwayne Marrs, 60, paid a fine in 1988 for “maintaining a place for prostitution, lewdness or assignation.” In 1993, he was found guilty of solicitation for prostitution.
“By failing to take these minimal measures in the hiring, supervision and retention of Marrs, FAIR acted negligently,” the suit says, again asking for lost wages and benefits, and noneconomic damages for emotional distress, anxiety, humiliation and mental suffering.
Marrs and Kasparian did not immediately respond to a request for comment made Saturday morning.
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