There are all kinds of times when you may pursue compensation for sexual harassment in the workplace. Take a case in North Carolina where a woman has sued for allegedly being kicked out of nursing school and a job due to accusing a supervisor of sexually harassing her.
The woman has pursued a case against two supervisors at the University of North Carolina’s nursing school at the Greensboro campus. She also filed a claim against the school, Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia and the UNC Board of Governors.
Looking at her case, the 35-year-old woman claims that she entered the program at UNCG in 2015 to train as a nurse anesthesiologist. She was then assigned to start working at WakeMed Raleigh Hospital. During training, she would have to be supervised by a registered nurse anesthetist, in this case, a male.
She claims that his harassment became more severe each time they encountered each other, including asking her out to dinner and placing himself against her while being aroused. She placed a harassment complaint in July 2016, but then, she states, the retaliation started.
She alleges that one of her supervisors told her that they were looking for things to get her removed from the program, including stating that they would “get her for something else” if they couldn’t for a particular offense.
In October 2016, she says that she was reassigned to work with her harasser again. Just a month before graduation, in June 2018, the school dismissed her for what it claimed were “unsafe nursing practices.” She was able to re-enroll, but she was again dismissed in May 2019.
Cases like this one point out that retaliation can be common after people report harassment. It’s illegal to retaliate against anyone who reports sexual harassment or any other type of harassment, yet it occurs all the time.
Harassment is about control, and when someone’s control is taken away, that can lead to them retaliating. They may have friends who are superiors to the person who complained who then take out the “revenge” on the victim.
If that happens to you, know that it is illegal for the employer or supervisors around you to retaliate. You have a right to work in a safe and supportive workplace. If they refuse to stop harassment, then you may pursue a lawsuit and do what you can to hold them responsible for their actions (or lack thereof).