A Sentara Healthcare worker says she was fired after reporting a colleague’s inappropriate behavior. The woman says she was the subject of repeated sexual harassment from a coworker. When behavior escalated and she reported him to their supervisor, she was fired ten days later. Now, the Hampton woman is filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in the hopes of changing the way the hospital handles sexual harassment claims.
Inappropriate Conversation, Escalating Behaviors
The woman says the initial behaviors started off with offense conversation subject matter, with the man making comments about his sex life and sharing nude pictures of himself. The man massaged her when the toll the work took on her body became too much. Soon, though, the worker says she tried to brush off compliments he paid her about her bust and invitations to perform sexual acts on him. It wasn’t until the man flashed his genitals at her that she felt compelled to speak to her supervisor. After speaking up, the woman says she was fired.
Retaliation Against Employees
Workers have the right to go about their day without being harassed by colleagues in this way. They also have the right to speak up and voice their concerns about a colleague’s behavior without fear of retribution. Sentara Healthcare may end up having to pay this woman a settlement for wrongful termination. In the best case scenario, this lawsuit will end up paving the way for new policies and procedures for workers at Sentara to more comfortably come forward with concerns about coworkers.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
This high profile case highlights a common issue rarely voiced in the workplace: sexual harassment. Statistics show that one in four women will be harassed at work in some way. Whether it is outright harassment like inappropriate touching or more subversive, like a coworker creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment occurs more frequently than most people realize. Even women in high-ranking, highly visible positions – like Carlson – are often put into uncomfortable, unethical scenarios by their colleagues and managers.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment, contact our lawyers to set up a free consultation 877-544-5323.