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Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

Stanislav Popov / Kansas City Star

Column Extra: Read the Sherles v. SEIU Local 1000 sexual harassment lawsuit documents

Published: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 - 11:21 am

In case you missed it, this week’s State Worker column looks at the sexual harassment lawsuit Franchise Tax Board employee Mechelle Sherles brought against her union, SEIU Local 1000. A judge recently sided with the union, which argued that Sherles was a state employee (on union paid leave to bargain contracts) when a Local 1000 staffer allegedly kissed her and sent her sexually explicit text messages. Her lawsuit alleged that other union officials mistreated her physically and emotionally after she tried to resolve the harassment internally.

Judge David Brown agreed with the union’s position that since Sherles wasn’t a union employee, she couldn’t sue the union as her employer.

You can download the voluminous court records from the Sacramento Superior Court website, by plugging case no. 34-2011-00114745 into its documents and tentative rulings search engine. Here are some of the key filings in the case:

Judge David Brown’s ruling

The original Nov. 29, 2011 complaint

SEIU Local 1000’s Mar. 2, 2012 response

SEIU Local 1000’s argument that Sherles was not a union employee

Susy Dellacasa-MIlls declaration in support of Sherles case (Dellacasa-MIlls was union attorney Paul Harris’ secretary)

SEIU Local 1000’s objection to Sherles’ evidence (including statements by Dallacasa-Mills)

Mechelle Sherles Nov. 1, 2013 declaration

Local 1000’s dispute what Sherles’ factual assertions in the case

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes, the documents and the observations that inform what's published.

Read more articles by Jon Ortiz

About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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Note: The State Worker blog switched blog platforms in October 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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