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N4T Investigators: Uncivil Service?

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TUCSON – Marilyn Boose has worked for the postal service for 32 years, the last four years at the city’s main post office on Cherrybell. Boose, who is African American, claims two colleagues directed a racial slur towards her last year and were not disciplined.

“February 7th I was called a [expletive] by a co-worker. March the 22nd I was called the same word by another co-worker," said Boose. "Management believed me, but they did nothing."

Boose also said she saw a co-worker watching porn in the main post office.

“He had a full-page of porn on his computer screen,” Boose claimed.  

Mail clerk Brianna Hernandez said some men who work in the post office often use sexually inappropriate language. Referring to one male colleague, Hernandez said, “He used a lot of sexual rhetoric.”

Hernandez became tearful as she told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “We don't come to work to have to go through this, we don't come to work to be judged on our personalities, you know, and how we feel towards these men making these comments.”

“It's like, every day at work, comments, sexual comments," said Liz Jones, a USPS employee.

Jones said she wanted to move from being a mail processing clerk to a maintenance job and all seven jobs were filled by men.

Jones claimed that job is physically easier than her current one. “I complained about it and the supervisor told me it's because it was too hard for me,” said Jones.

It's not only female postal workers that are angry.

“I felt like, embarrassed, shock,” said Thomas Boone.

Boone claimed a male colleague, who's the president of one of the employees' union locals, did a bizarre thing: He pulled down Boone's shorts while at work.

Boone recalled: “And he said, and I quote,  'I'm a union man and I can do whatever the [expletive] I want.'"

The same union leader was suspended for two weeks in 2018 for an unrelated incident. He was found to have directed inappropriate sexual comments to a female colleague.

“It's a good old boys club and guys get away with murder there,” Boone claimed.

And there's more.

A woman who used to work in the main post office told us that a male employee took video of the two in a sex act, unbeknownst to her, and showed it to colleagues.

News 4 Tucson obtained texts between the two.

The woman texted: "You thought you could record me without me knowing having sex with you and it wouldn't get back to me? Like I wouldn't hear about it?

The man replied: "Yeah I recorded it. I was drunk." 

Employees told us the man wasn't disciplined and in fact, since then, received a promotion.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators met with a dozen employees of the main post office who claim that a "boys locker-room atmosphere" prevails there.

“It's that, you know, 'boys will be boys’ rhetoric," said Brianna Hernandez.

The workers believe postal supervisors don't take their complaints seriously.

Twenty employees signed a petition calling for an outside investigation and sent it last fall to Arizona senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick.

The lawmakers told the workers they need to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Three women have filed complaints with the EEOC.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators have a lot of questions for postal supervisors. However, our interview request was declined.

Instead, spokesperson Rod Spureon sent us a statement. Here it is, in its entirely:

“Federal law imposes strict privacy protections related to personnel matters, including information about investigations and discipline.  The law protects not only the alleging party, but all parties who are involved in such matters.  Thus, we are prohibited -- by law -- from commenting on the specific allegations that you’ve identified.   However, that does not mean the matters have been unreported or left unaddressed.  The Postal Service has a long and strong history of ensuring a work environment free of harassment.

The Postal Service takes seriously all allegations of workplace harassment and has in place robust policies and procedures for investigating such matters and taking appropriate discipline if there are findings of misconduct.  Furthermore, the Postal Service has multiple, well-publicized channels for employees to file grievances and complaints to have their allegations fully and fairly addressed.”

Rod Spueron, Postal Service Spokesperson

“All I want is for them to give management the right training," said Hernandez. "I want management to take responsibility."

Regarding the three women who filed EEOC complaints, Liz Jones lost her case as the EEOC found no discrimination. She's appealing the ruling. The other two women who filed complaints say their cases are pending.

If you have any story you would like us to investigate, email us at investigators@kvoa.com or call our tip line at 520-955-4444.

Matthew Schwartz

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