Ysidrio Alonso, former management at one of the local offices of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, allegedly sexually harassed an employee and threatened another, Joanna Cardona, who is the plaintiff in a $350,000 lawsuit against Alonso and other management.
Cardona said that she had filed claims against Alonso for the inappropriate conduct she claims to have witnessed. According to her, management all but dismissed her complaint at first and it wasn’t until she pressed further that he was relocated to a different store.
The management at St. Vincent de Paul took a lengthy amount of time to deal with the alleged harassment and are said to have not taken a very serious stance on the issue. In addition, there is no record of the victim of Alonso’s harassment coming forward or filing complaints or charges.
This kind of sexual harassment which has evolved to what some people on the internet have come to call “sexual playfulness,” is becoming more common and is often not taken seriously.
Brooke Miller, a Carlmont student and former employee at a local Gymnastics training center, said, “It is only really a problem if others notice it or if others are bothered by it” and that if “The victim doesn’t feel they are in danger, there is no need to report it.”
Especially among teenage employees, it appears that this “sexual playfulness” has been swept under the rug and not seen as dangerous or as a serious problem. Many people say that it may not be very professional, but sexual playfulness in the workplace is not something to be made an issue out of unless it the recipient of the acts has an issue with it.
Nick Adams, a current employee at a small startup company said, “For the most part, the workplace is not an appropriate setting for that to happen.”
That being said, Adams also included that it should not be taken as a serious issue if the relationship is consensual and is only a real problem if one party is trying to “break the ice.”
Sexual harassment is not the main point in the lawsuit at St. Vincent de Paul. It is only about the actions taken against the employee who reported them.