Three former employees of a medical doctor recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against their ex-employer. The settlement was reached only days prior to the beginning of the trial. In their case, the three women alleged that they were victimized by chronic sexual harassment by their employer — both physically and verbally. The women’s claims were filed out of state; however, cases such as this are a persistent problem in Florida and throughout the nation.
The complaint alleged that the doctor who employed the women chronically fondled, kissed and propositioned them to have sex with him. The women say that, when they reported the abuse to their superiors, they were then retaliated against by having their hours reduced and being denied time off. In their suit, which was first filed in 2010 and later re-filed in federal court, the woman cited claims of battery, assault, emotional distress and other allegations. The doctor denied the charges, claiming that the three women were simply ganging up on him.
The terms of the settlement agreement were sealed and confidential. However, the women had initially claimed damages of more than $100,000. As a result of the lawsuit, in addition to paying the agreed upon settlement, the employing physician and his clinics could also face an investigation from the North Carolina Medical Board regarding the alleged unprofessional conduct.
As is common in sexual harassment claims that involve retaliation, the women — who were either fired or forced to resign due to the circumstances — had asked to be reinstated to their former positions with protection from further abuse. Their victory in this case is to be celebrated as a victory for the victims of sexual harassment, be they in Florida or in North Carolina. Indeed, when someone is hurt emotionally and/or abused sexually on the job, state and federal laws will support them in gaining restitution and justice.
Source: charlotteobserver.com, Charlotte-area doctor settles sexual harassment suit, Michael Gordon, Feb. 11, 2014