The United Auto Workers union is investigating claims of sexual harassment and discrimination in one of its regions.
The union, in an emailed statement Monday, confirmed it has hired an investigator to look into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in UAW Region 2B, which oversees workers from dozens of companies in Indiana and Ohio.
The statement followed the Wall Street Journal reporting two current female UAW staffers have alleged that Richard Rankin, the director of the region who holds a seat on the union's governing board, "repeatedly made sexually charged remarks that in one instance escalated to a physical threat."
Rankin could not immediately be reached for comment Monday night. In an emailed statement to the Wall Street Journal, Rankin said he supports and "fully cooperated with the investigation into this matter and with the investigation process."
The report, citing unnamed sources, listed Washington, D.C.-based Bredhoff & Kaiser as the firm conducting an independent investigation into the nurses' claims. A representative with the firm was not immediately available for comment.
Rankin, a UAW member since 1997, has held the regional post since June 2017, according to the UAW's website. The region represents workers from "50 diverse companies" in Ohio and Indiana in industries such as automotive, health care and nursing.
Without naming Rankin, the UAW said the investigation is ongoing and if "there was misconduct in the workplace, we will take appropriate corrective action."
A UAW spokesman declined to comment outside of the statement, which also confirmed the UAW is separately reviewing an "internal complaint of those issues."