“Bullying alive in ASG workplaces”

Bullying is alive in some ASG workplaces and the government agency charged with dealing with such incidents is not taking action, according to victims advocate Ipu Lefiti.

She is assisting a 60 year old government employee with a grievance that has now been filed with the Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Honolulu.

The complaint is filed by a 60 year old employee of a government agency who has documented that she is constantly locked out of their office during working hours. Not having a key to the office, she turns up at work at 7:30 while the director, deputy director and other staff who have keys turn up several hours later.

KHJ News will name the agency after obtaining comments from the two officials about the complaint.

Mrs. Lefiti says the employee is either forced to hang around outside for hours, sent to other locations to wait or sent home while the office remains locked.

“A federally funded office that serves the public with 5 staff members who are all absent at a time and keeping the office locked during working hours, I believe is dereliction. “

She said the employee sent a letter on May 23 to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office/Labor and Wage representative Mrs. Eseta Kruse and Human Resources Deputy Director Mr. John Ah Sue for advice and direction.

The Governor’s Chief of Staff Mr. Fiu Saelua was also aware of the issue since 2018. There has been no response or action taken.

Another letter was generated on May 30 and this elicited an angry response from the deputy director of the agency.

“He maliciously yelled innuendos and racial slurs at the employee in Samoan language. Loudly scolding and demanding if the employee is a white (palagi) person. If so, she should go to work where only white people work. Because only brainless white people write stupid letters like this,” said Lefiti.

Meanwhile, the director sat behind her desk and never once made an attempt to intervene or stop this verbal and frightening assault upon the employee.

Mrs Lefiti says, “The failure of our local Equal Employment Office and Human Resources to take action resulted in the employee being forced to suffer and be subjected to the ongoing major hardships, abuse and scorn within the working environment.”

She urges that the public should be made aware of the “blatant violation of human rights and the abuse of power and authority within the ASG workforce by supervisors and some of the Governor’s cabinet members.”

She advises those being victimized in the workplace to go directly to the EEOC in Honolulu or contact her at 252 4889.