Sexual Harassment Investigation leads to $125K Payment By Children’s Hospital

Sexual Harassment Investigation leads to $125K Payment By Children’s Hospital

People who work at children’s hospitals have the enormous responsibility of delivering high-level medical care while providing emotional support to young patients and their families. This environment might seem like the last place where an employee would be exposed to sexual harassment, but a recent investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that offensive behavior can occur in any type of work setting.

Following an EEOC investigation, Seattle Children’s Hospital agreed to pay $125,000 to a former nurse who said she was forced to resign due to harmful comments and a sexually charged atmosphere. Moreover, the victim sad that even after she notified hospital management of the mistreatment she was experiencing, her supervisors failed to take effective action on her behalf. 

Along with the monetary penalty, the hospital must strengthen its anti-discrimination policies and provide training to managers and employees who participate in the investigation of complaints regarding alleged sexual harassment and other forms of illegal discrimination. High-pressure jobs, such as those in the healthcare field, sometimes lead employees to act inappropriately or to ignore allegations of mistreatment because of job-related pressures. However, no one should be subject to sexual harassment at work regardless of their specific role. This illegal type of discrimination usually is divided into the following two categories:

  • Quid pro quo — When a supervisor or someone else in a higher position at a given workplace pressures a worker for sexual attention, that constitutes unlawful quid pro quo harassment. In some instances, this might involve the threat of firing, demotion or change of assignment if the victim does not give into the harasser’s demands. Other times, a boss might offer inducements, such as a promotion or better pay, if the targeted employee agrees to go on a date or engage in some form of sexual activity. 

  • Hostile work environment — There are many ways in which sexually charged behaviors can make it difficult or impossible for an employee to perform their job duties in peace. Hostile work environment claims can be brought when sexual jokes, comments, images, contact or gestures become severe or pervasive. Unlike quid pro quo matters, the harasser in a hostile work environment action does not have to be someone in a superior position on the job.  

Don’t let someone in your workplace get away with sexual harassment no matter what excuse they give. Kardell Law Group can represent you in a claim seeking appropriate compensation for the harm you’ve endured.