The president of a local Teamsters union filed a federal lawsuit Friday that claims her supervisor used his position to coerce her into a sexual relationship with him.
Helen Green, 49, filed the lawsuit against Teamsters Local 995, Teamsters Joint Council 42 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
According to the lawsuit, Green “has been subjected to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation during her employment both as President and as a business agent.”
The lawsuit specifically claims that her supervisor, Secretary/Treasurer Mike Magnani, used his position to coerce her into a sexual relationship.
“While ostensibly engaged in union business and being paid by the Defendants, Magnani would use union funds to pay for the Plaintiff to travel with him around the state and nation so that he could pursue the sexual relationship,” the document alleges. “When the Plaintiff sought to break off that relationship, Magnani engaged in a concerted effort to harass and intimidate her in retaliation for her refusal to have sex with him.”
Magnani could not be reached for comment Friday.
According to her lawsuit, Green complained about the retaliatory harassment to Magnani’s supervisor, Jim Santangelo.
“Santangelo told the Plaintiff that if she would drop her complaint he would make sure that Magnani stopped the harassment, and if he didn’t, he would remove Magnani from his position,” the document states. “Despite Santangelo’s representations Magnani continued to retaliate against the Plaintiff by creating a hostile work environment and the Defendants did nothing to stop him.”
The lawsuit claims Green has been terminated from her position as business agent and harassed in her position as president in retaliation for her complaint.
Green is seeking reinstatement to the position of business agent, with back pay. She also is seeking $300,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages.
Attorney Richard Segerblom, who represents Green, said he found it ironic that Green complained to someone who also has been accused of sexual harassment.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Santangelo had resigned amid allegations that he sexually harassed a union secretary.
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at email@example.com or 702-384-8710.