Sexual Harassment alleged in Hospital’s Trauma Department

Ohio – A sexual harassment lawsuit was filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against ProMedica Toledo Hospital, ProMedica Central Physicians Group, and ProMedica‘s Chief Medical Officer, Daniel Cassavar, on behalf of an ex-medical director, Eric Ferguson, in the trauma department. Ferguson claims that he endured both sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
Ferguson received his promotion to Trauma Medical Director in October 2015. Ferguson alleges that a female nurse practitioner, Sara Peppel, is responsible sexually harassing him. Peppel, who also works in the trauma department, was accused of “inappropriate physical and other advances” towards Ferguson at his residence in December 2015. According to Ferguson, he rejected the unwanted physical advances from Peppel, and experienced retaliation for his rejection at a later date.
Shortly after the incident occurred, Fergusons claims he reported the unprofessional behavior to the Vice President of Surgical Services, and the Chief Nursing Officer. Although the report of workplace misconduct was filed, Ferguson’s alleged sexual harassment continued. Ferguson said Peppel attempted another “unwelcome advance” on the same day he filed a sexual harassment report against her. The unwanted advances were rejected again.
Ferguson followed protocol, and filed an additional complaint about the new sexual advance he faced. Unlike the first report, the Chief Nursing Officer encouraged Ferguson to also filed an authorized sexual harassment complaint with the Human Resources Department in the hospital.
Ferguson followed suit with making an official sexual harassment complaint, written and oral, to ensure that each complaint is documented. The sexual harassment complaints were directed to the Human Resources director, who delayed delivering a solution to the sexual harassment issues by sending Ferguson to the Human Resources administrator.
It appears that the more Ferguson reported his sexual harassment, the more sexual harassment he experienced. He consistently turned Peppel and her advances away in a “very direct” manner, but she never backed down. Peppel’s actions resemble an obsession with Ferguson that she failed to control, especially in the workplace. Her actions were beyond unacceptable, and she completely disregarded her reputation.
The retaliation commenced in December 2015 according to Ferguson. The trauma department allegedly transitioned into a hostile work environment as well. As the medical director of the trauma department, ties to sexual harassment were damaging to Ferguson’s successful path at work. Individuals on the receiving end of the sexual harassment complaint tried to persuade Ferguson to “let it blow over” and “clear the air” with Peppel who made every attempt within her power to pursue Ferguson.
Human Resources allegedly believed it was wrong to “punish” Peppel for her workplace misconduct. HR also suggested that he adjust his work schedule to avert Peppel’s presence at work. The only thing Ferguson requested is that HR put a stop to the workplace issue, so he can continue his normal routine “providing optimal patient care and safety.” Instead they asked him to make an adjustment, which indirectly does the work for the HR department.
If Peppel and Ferguson switched positions, there is a chance that Human Resources would have no mercy on Ferguson. However, they expect Ferguson to turn his head as if nothing ever happened or will continue to happen if they evade the sexual harassment complaints any longer. This is a great example of gender inequality at a male’s expense. It seems like women receive far more support with sexual harassment than men. In a just society, there should be a balance of security in the workplace for both genders.

Workplace Sexual Harassment led to Termination

The retaliation and hostile work environment continued throughout February 2016 when Cassavar informed Ferguson “Toledo Hospital may not be the place for you.” Ferguson’s work contract was coming to a close at the end and of March. It has been noted that Ferguson’s employment with ProMedica Toledo Hospital would conclude then. Cassavar allegedly recommended that Ferguson should seek employment elsewhere based on the sexual harassment lawsuit.
At the beginning of March, Ferguson and his sexual harassment lawyer sent a letter to ProMedica addressing his termination. Ferguson believes he was retaliated against for reporting an ongoing workplace issue, sexual harassment. He informed the hospital’s administration that he wasn’t “given a hearing” or any procedure that would help save his job or resolve the sexual harassment issue.
Currently, Ferguson is requesting compensation for “lost wages, benefits, loss of future earnings and front pay, loss of reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, and loss of self esteem.” ProMedica is withholding all comments during the pending sexual harassment lawsuit.
If you have been a victim of workplace sexual harassment in a medical facility, contact our New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Our sexual harassment lawyers are well equipped and knowledgeable about the law in order to answer all questions, provide excellent legal representation, and help resolve your workplace sexual harassment issue. For more information on workplace sexual harassment or employment law, read our Employment Law Blog.

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If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, then you should immediately contact the NYC, NJ, PA sexual harassment lawyers at the employment law firm of DEREK T. SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC. No one deserves a hostile work environment.
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