In most professions, friendly office banter is usually a welcome way to reduce stress. However, lines can be blurred when banter borders on sexually suggestive comments and then quickly turns into sexual harassment if pornography and lewd comments enter the picture. Although this may seem extreme, in the case of two hospital staffers in New York, it was what they experienced from their boss.
Recently, two female staffers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in a Manhattan Federal Court after their boss. The two women worked in a New York City emergency room where they say their boss made continuous sexual innuendos which made their employment at the hospital miserable. The staffers’ plight began in 2012 when they stated that their male boss showed them pornographic pictures on the computer of another supervisor. The women filed a complaint and the supervisor was fired. However, the issue did not stop there. Once the supervisor was fired, the boss who showed them the images allegedly started to harass the women.
The filing states that he supposedly sent one of the women a sexually suggestive message and made lewd comments when the staffer informed him that she was not feeling well. Both women also stated they were subjected to retaliation by receiving unreasonable work duties and unfair performance reviews and were also being denied extra work hours. One of the staffers was eventually fired, while the other remained working at the hospital by moving to another department. The staffers are seeking financial and emotional damages for their work experiences.
New Yorkers in similar situations should not hesitate to file a sexual harassment complaint. More than that, they should inform an employment law specialist if they are experiencing unlawful retaliation in the form of a demotion, are given worse work hours or are subjected to any form of retaliatory acts. Such actions from an employer or superior are considered a violation of labor rights and can strengthen their case.
Source: New York Daily News, “Sex harass at Lennox Hill ER: lawsuit,” Stephen Rex Brown, Nov. 9, 2014