Surgical tech alleges workplace harassment by Florida surgeon
A former hospital employee is seeking financial compensation from the institution and a physician, claiming that the doctor sexually harassed her. The woman alleges that she was the victim of workplace harassment after a surgeon at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, grabbed her buttocks, made harassing commends and boasted about violating her privacy. She claims that the 80-year-old man was essentially allowed to get away with the sexual harassment because of his tenure at the facility.
Official reports show that the man is accused of violently grabbing the woman’s behind in March 2013 while she was helping him prepare for surgery. The lawsuit claims that the defendant boasted about grabbing the surgical technologist’s rear end to other hospital staff and relatives of the patient. A similar incident in 2012 also occurred when the elderly surgeon caressed the woman’s buttocks in a sexual fashion.
The woman in this case said she suffered emotional issues including stress, shame, humiliation and anxiety because of the sexual harassment concerns. The woman was forced to leave work because of the incidents. She took time off in June 2013 because of the emotional distress, and she officially quit her job several months later.
Workplace harassment can have a serious impact on workers’ ability to do their jobs. Even though the physician in this case is categorically denying his involvement in the harassment, the woman may still be able to successfully bring a suit against that man, the health care system and the hospital. It appears that the defendant in this case is an independent contractor who is not formally employed by Memorial Healthcare System. That fact could change the woman’s legal strategy for pursuing compensation in connection with the sexual harassment claim.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Hollywood surgeon accused of sexual harassment” Tonya Alanez, May. 14, 2014