Woman Says She, Others Were Sexually Harassed at Dodger Stadium Test Site

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The co-founder along with Sean Penn of the disaster relief charity Community Organized Relief Effort is being sued by a woman who alleges a Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief sexually harassed her and other young women during CORE coronavirus testing at Dodger Stadium in 2020 and that she was fired when she complained.

Sarena Serrano's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit against CORE; its CEO, Ann Young Lee; the city of Los Angeles and LAFD Battalion Chief Jaime Lesinski alleges sexual harassment, gender violence, sexual battery, aiding and abetting sexual harassment, retaliation, failure to prevent harassment and wrongful termination.

Serrano seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages in the suit filed Wednesday. A CORE representative could not be immediately reached.

A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said his office will review the complaint, but that he had no further comment.

CORE provided coronavirus testing at Dodger Stadium from June through October 2020, the suit states. Lesinski worked at the site from June through August 2020 and oversaw, managed and directed the operations in coordination with Lee, according to the suit.

Serrano and other young women who daily worked with Lesinki were touched by him on their lower backs and buttocks without consent, subjected to inappropriate sexual comments about their sexual organs and forced to hear sexually demeaning comments about them, the suit states.

Lesinski once implied Serrano was a prostitute by saying, “Looks like you were working hard last night,'' the suit states.

Lee and other CORE managers knew or should have known about Lesinski's allegedly inappropriate behavior by June 2020, the suit alleges.

Serrano asked her supervisor for a paid day off after having a mental breakdown upon learning that Lee was allegedly aware of Lesinski's conduct for months and had done nothing to correct it, but she was told she could only have unpaid time off, the suit states.

Serrano was fired last October for unspecified “unprofessional behavior,'' the suit states.

“When (Serrano) complained to her supervisors, including Lee, about Lesinski sexually harassing her, Lee told (Serrano) that she knew Lesinski was engaging in sexually harassing conduct in the workplace, but that she could not, and would not, do anything about it, because he was her friend,'' according to the suit.

Later, Lee and/or someone from CORE human resources management confronted Serrano regarding her complaints about Lesinski and stated roughly, “What did you do to make him feel uncomfortable like that?'' the suit states.

Instead of doing a neutral investigation into Serrano's complaints, CORE contrived a reason to fire her, the suit states.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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