Accountant sues UPW,
alleging sex harassment

The federal suit marks the second
complaint against Gary Rodrigues

An accountant is suing the United Public Workers for allegedly violating her civil rights by failing to stop sexual harassment and discrimination by the union's former state Director Gary Rodrigues.

Jeanne Endo, a senior UPW accountant who worked for Rodrigues starting in April 1993, filed the lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court.

Rodrigues, who is free pending an appeal of his November conviction on federal money laundering, mail fraud and embezzlement charges, is not named as a defendant. However, the complaint characterizes him as the UPW "alter ego."

UPW Administrator Elizabeth Ho was not available for comment.

Endo, who testified against Rodrigues at his criminal trial, had filed complaints earlier with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, which issued her "right to sue" letters to seek remedy from the courts.

Endo alleged that during her employment, Rodrigues continually sexually harassed her, creating a hostile work environment.

She contends he pressured her for sexual favors, including intercourse, and touched her breasts and buttocks. When she refused his demands, she was retaliated against by receiving lower raises than other people of her rank in the union.

Rodrigues further retaliated against her after she filed the equal employment and civil rights complaints by ridiculing her to members of the executive committee, state executive board and union staff, and instructing a staffer to write an article in the union newspaper criticizing her work performance to justify her termination, the complaint says.

Endo is seeking damages to be determined at trial.

Rodrigues and his attorneys could not be reached for comment. In the past his attorneys have denied the allegations.

Endo testified at Rodrigues' trial that he had destroyed union records that showed his daughter had received consulting fees from the union's medical and dental contracts.

This is the second complaint filed by a UPW employee alleging sexual harassment by Rodrigues. Earlier this year, the union settled a 1998 sexual harassment complaint by Rodrigues' former girlfriend and secretary, Georgietta Carroll.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --