Laura Harris of EDD Santa Ana Fights for Her Rights — and WINS!

Article Published on April 14, 2023

When Laura Harris went out on medical leave from her office at the Employment Development Department (EDD) last year, she was expecting to be able to use her workers comp time to recover. But when the bullying and harassment from management that she had reported in June continued, she made the important decision to keep fighting for her rights in the workplace.

Members experiencing problems in the workplace need to know their rights so that when managers harass or bully them, they are able to fight back. Our union representatives and leaders try to educate and inform members about their rights before a problem starts. In many cases, however, we need to take the fight to them.

When management informed Laura that her grievance could not be filed due to a problem with the timeline, our representatives fought back. Members have the right to a safe workplace. Procedural excuses would do nothing to ensure that when she returned to work she would not be facing the same situation as when she left.

Fortunately, when we reached out to EDD to put them on notice, her department was reminded that she doesn’t stand alone. SEIU Local 1000 representatives cited the “dignity clause” of our contract, which protects all employees of the state from mistreatment in their workplaces. After this “5.11 email” was sent to EDD, her supervisor reached out with an apology. “There are no words to express how long I’ve waited for this to happen,” Laura aid. “I’m so grateful that God blessed me with you.”