Nurse Sues for Rape by Boss With Sexual Harassment History

Plaintiff in a newly-filed federal lawsuit alleges the nursing home for which she worked failed to protect her from sexual assault by a manager with a known history of sexual harassment. nurses

The Denver Post reports her former employer in Colorado hired her  boss/ attacker in 2014, after he had just been fired from his last job at a Minnesota hospital amid allegations of sexual harassment. Despite knowing this history, plaintiff said when she reported the two instances of sexual assault, administrators responded by falsely accusing her of stealing narcotic medications and terminating her.

She is now seeking compensation for lost wages, punitive and compensatory damages and attorney’s fees. Defendant in the case is a company that owns more than two dozen nursing homes in three states. Although the company purports to value cultivating and maintaining a safe space for residents and staffers, that was not what plaintiff experienced. 

According to her complaint, plaintiff was attacked by her boss twice within a two-day span in January 2015. The first incident was a sexual assault and the second a sexual battery/ rape. Plaintiff informed administrators, and also called police. The supervisor was eventually convicted on charges related to those crimes last year.

Meanwhile, the EEOC conducted its own review, and issued findings indicating there was reason to believe administrators at the nursing home did not intervene as she was subjected to sexual harassment and abuse, and then retaliated when she reported the attacks by disciplining her and later firing her.

Plaintiff alleges the boss was hired by nursing home administrators soon after his firing from the out-of-state hospital. His history may have been overlooked or ignored, she said, because the head administrator was friends with him. But this was all the more proof company leaders knew or should have known about her boss’s history of alleged wrong-doing with co-workers and subordinates.

Supervisor was in charge of overseeing dozens of nurses and nurses aides, including the victim, who was hired around the same time as him, in 2014.

Plaintiff said that before the attack, she and other co-workers were repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment by their boss. He would brush up against them with erect genitalia. He loudly bragged about having sex with a nurse on-the-job at his previous workplace. Then, before the attack on plaintiff, five nurses assistants went to human resources to file complaints about the supervisor, accusing him of repeatedly subjecting them to unwanted sexual advances, comments and touching. Their supervisor reportedly refused to take action unless they wanted to file complaints in writing. However, the women feared retaliation so they declined to do so. Even so, each of those five workers (except for one, who died unexpectedly) was later fired within weeks of making that complaint.

Meanwhile, administrators took no action to address the supervisor’s alleged behavior.

Then during a shift in January 2015, the supervisor summoned plaintiff to his office and sexually assaulted her. She didn’t report the incident right away, fearing for the future of her job. However, she did reveal what had happened to her co-workers, in the hopes of warning them. Two days passed, and the supervisor again called plaintiff into his office. This time, he raped her.

The company suspended the supervisor and he later resigned and was arrested and convicted for his actions with plaintiff. However, the company failed to report the incident to the state nursing board, which didn’t find out about any of it until a television reporter called with an inquiry upon the jury’s conviction.

Meanwhile, on the same night plaintiff was raped, while she was still at the hospital, the company accused her of stealing narcotics. Plaintiff noted that she had given two medications to patients just before the attack, but was unable to chart this fact due to the attack. A police officer searched her belongings and found no drugs. She was nonetheless suspended and later fired.

Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.

Additional Resources:

Nurse raped by boss with checkered history sues Aurora nursing center, March 6, 2017, By Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post

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Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Fox News Host Bill O’Reilly Settled, Feb. 19, 2017, Sexual Harassment Attorney Blog