Workplace Retaliation Ruling Nets a Nurse $115,000 After Doctor’s Crude Conduct

After a nurse sued for sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, and retaliation, she received $115,000 this week and may even get an additional $84,000 on top of that.  The nurse was an instructor at a hospital who alleged that the medical director, Dr. Craig Manifold, used vulgar langauge and stated that if she and the other instructors weren’t satisfied working for him that they can go work for Playboy and read the magazine for the blind by graphically describing the nude photos.  The same doctor also gave a female subordinate a doll with a penis.  After she and a few other females complained about his behavior, the doctor retaliated against them by removing them from projects and essential interoffice email distributions.  The Court held that the retaliation claim stands and awarded her the $115,000 for pain and suffering as well as lost wages and benefits as her contract was not renewed by the hospital.

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits retaliation against anyone who opposed unlawful activity such as unwelcome sexual advances, sexual harassment or discrimination, filed a complaint regarding such conduct, or testified or assisted in proceedings under FEHA. “Retaliation” is defined as engaging in a protected activity, such as the three examples above, that you were subjected to a negative employment action (such as demotion or firing, withholding of benefits, verbal or physical abuse) due to that protected activity, and you suffered damages.

Last year, California law was even updated to require employers to modify their sexual harassment and discrimination prevention training.  Now, every supervisor must to take the two hour training every two years if he or she works for a company that has more than 50 workers.  Our Los Angeles based employment law attorneys provided countless blogs and examples on sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation which may be accessed here.  In addition, our attorneys consistently report that females as well as males are subjected to “constructive discharge” after they can no longer bear the constant unreasonable work conditions.  Essentially, constructive discharge occurs when an employee resigns to avoid the barrage of negative treatment, harassment, discrimination or retaliation in the workplace after no action is taken by the employer even after complaints.  As a result, the employer who was placed on notice is fully responsible for the resignation and will pay for the wages, benefits, pain and suffering.

If you believe that you, or another employee, suffered an employment law matter related to sex or sexual discrimination, harassment or retaliation in the workplace, prompt action to preserve your rights is vital since the statute of limitation is a short one year.  Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.