Update - Public Statement from the Board
As a part of the Casa Latina community, I want to continue to provide transparent communication and to keep you updated about what is happening at Casa Latina. Earlier this month, the board of Directors of Casa Latina commissioned an HR Investigation after receiving complaints about how a sexual harassment case against an employee was handled, and which led to a group of protesters setting up an encampment on the premises of Casa Latina and a hunger strike by some of the protesters. After the completion of the HR Investigation and successful negotiations with the protesters, the protesters ended the encampment and the hunger strike. In case you missed the last email update from the board about the end of a hunger strike at Casa Latina and the findings from the internal investigation, it can be found here.
We believe that the Casa Latina family can work together toward restorative justice with a goal to rebuild trust and communal healing. Mediators from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network are facilitating mediated conversations between the Casa Latina family, including staff, board, and members. The mediators will be facilitating mediation with the goal of rebuilding internal relationships and trust while identifying the next steps needed by the organization to improve our practices and policies.
During this mediation process, the board has contracted an Acting Executive Director Guadalupe Torres who will be helping ensure that operations of Casa Latina programs and services that are so essential to our community continue smoothly. Executive Director Marcos Martinez is currently on administrative leave, and we are grateful to have Guadalupe temporarily step in.
Thank you so much for your continued support during this time. We will continue to keep you updated and to remain transparent as the mediation and subsequent recommendations for action steps are made. I am grateful for you.
Casa Latina Board President
Updates and Key Information:
- The staff person who had the sexual harassment complaint is no longer employed at Casa Latina. The person has not physically been at Casa Latina since April 17th and has not been employed since May 12th.
- The hunger strike at Casa Latina ended June 16th after meeting with Casa Latina board members for a two-hour conversation mediated by Washington State Senator Rebecca Saldana
- Casa Latina staff has gone through sexual harassment training within the last 30 days or during their orientation if hired this year. All Casa Latina staff will go through a secondary sexual harassment training this summer.
- All workers of Casa Latina’s job dispatch program go through sexual offenders background-check before they can become a member and go through sexual harassment training during their member orientation.
- Mediation is being facilitated among staff, members, and board by National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
- Casa Latina is open! Job dispatch programs and in-person programs are happening, with COVID-19 safety guidelines in place.
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