It is often easy for companies to turn a blind eye to behavior from a staff member if that person is of importance to the facility. To keep him or her happy, Texas employers may attempt to sweep inappropriate situations, such as sexual harassment, under the rug to keep the offending person happy. Workers have the right to feel safe in the workplace, and when they no longer do, they may turn to the law to help correct the situation and prevent it from happening to others in the future.
One of the nephrology professors from the Yale School of Medicine stands accused of sexual harassment by members of the staff who worked at a dialysis clinic in another state. The doctor was employed by the university for more than 20 years. Apparently, this is allegedly not the first claim of inappropriate conduct during that time frame. The federal lawsuit was filed by seven current and past members of the dialysis center where they were all employed.
According to the complaint, the professor had pressed himself in a sexual manner into the back of one of the plaintiffs while she was seated on a stool. A similar incident reportedly happened in a patient room when a different woman was sitting on a stool and he purportedly did the same thing while rubbing her shoulders. Similar incidents are said to have occurred while several of the plaintiffs were in a conference room. The now 63-year-old is accused of thrusting himself into the back of one of the chairs where one of the plaintiffs was seated and, even after being told to sit down, continued the behavior until he announced to the group that he was finished gratifying himself.
When the issue was presented to the plaintiff's supervisor, the complainants were allegedly told that they should just avoid the doctor and that was just the way things were. The private company that runs the dialysis center reportedly informed the staff to keep the doctor happy so that the contracts with Yale could be protected. A spokesperson for Yale noted that the accusations are being taken seriously and measures to the make a better environment for women in the facility are under consideration. Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, and aggrieved Texas workers who are exposed to a hostile work environment can look to the legal system for help.
Source: The New York Times, "Seven Allege Harassment by Yale Doctor at Clinic", Tamar Lewin, April 13, 2015