Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Slowly but surely, women are starting to gain respect and be treated like equals, both in pay and in leadership opportunity. However, there are some industries that lag far behind in terms of respect for women, general opportunities, and who punish those who speak out. Although its 2016, women are still disrespected within the workplace. However, a huge verdict in a sexual harassment lawsuit may be just the spark to get one industry focused on women’s rights in the workplace.
A California jury awarded former physician assistant Ani Chopourian $168 million in her suit against Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California. The monetary award, which broke down to $125 million in punitive damages, $39 million in mental anguish, and $3.5 million for lost wages and benefits, came four years after she was terminated for filing 18 sexual harassment complaints from 2006 to 2008.
Her complaints centered on the comments of actions of several surgeons within the cardiac surgery unit, a huge moneymaker for the hospital. One particular surgeons harassed her in several different ways, from picking her with a needle, to comments that her surgical technique “was like a girl”, to escalating inappropriate sexual talk by touching Chopourian in the operating room, and openly referenced possible sexual deeds that Chopourian would perform on him.
After multiple complaints, she was released from her job in March 2008, and denied physician assistant privileges at the hospital, causing her to be unemployed for over 3 years. While following the lawsuit, and its verdict, Mercy severed the relationship with the surgeon, Chopourian was in danger of losing her home and was relying on donations from friends and family to avoid foreclosure on her house.
While this lawsuit should wake up hospitals around the nation and make them realize the penalties for harboring an environment conducive to sexual harassment, the fact unfortunately is that these facilities will continue to do so because of the money these surgeons bring and the power they wield.
The Whistler Difference
That’s why you need Whistler, a leader in corporate compliance and communications. Whistler can teach you how to protect your employees from sexual harassment through education and helping with culture-building activities. It helps eliminate bias so that work can be safe for everyone, from the CEO to the entry-level employee.
How can your organization effectively use Whistler? If you’re looking to improve women’s rights in the workplace, a communications safety net that catches incidents and offers instant documentation to your organization can help track improve relations with your female workers, while also give you a remedy to solve the problem, so women can feel more comfort in the workplace.