Need advice about an MD harrassing staff..

  1. please note - this thread was originally posted in 2001 - nurse ratched 5/12/04

    hi all,

    i need some desperate advice about one of our doctors at the clinic. i hate to be long winded, but i have to tell the whole story or it won't make sense. we have a doc in our clinic who was recently repremanded for having an affair with a married nurse. this is not his first affair as he has had one other with an ma at the clinic and 2 dialysis nurses. anyway, the most recent rn affair still works at the clinic and they see eachother every now and then. she is very jealous of anyone else working for the doc. however, since she is no longer allowed to work for him, the rest of us have to fill in until a new rn can be hired. several of the rn's and cma's who have filled in with him have complained about him acting inappropriatly. mostly it is jsut comment he makes and such. last month while working for him the first time, he began telling me, out of the blue, all about his "sexual affair" with his ex-rn. he told me all the details and kept asking me my opinion of what he had done. i told him several times, point blank, that i wasn't comfortable talking about it. he kept on. than, he told me, "in my office we talk and we flirt and if you don't like that you can leave." so, i took the charts i was working on and put them on his desk and left the office. he came running after me, saying "don't be like that! come back!" i told him again that i didn't want to talk about his affair...i just wanted to do our schedule and be done with it. so, i happened to tell a couple of the other staff about this incident, and they expressed that they had had similar expereinces with him. a week later, i had to work with him again. he shuts the door and corners me in the office and says, " i heard that you have been lying about me to other nurses." he proceded to tell me all of the events that had happened the first time i was with him ( someone i talked to in confidence must have blabbed) and than demanded that i admit it never happend. i told him i was uncomfortable with the whole thing. than, he gets his ex-nurse on the phone, with me standing right there , and than he gave me the phone and said, "tell her you lied about it and that i never said those things to you." i turned and wlkaed out of the office! i barely made it through the rest of that day. this is getting out of hand! our don knows about this behavior with others, though i haven't told her about my expereince. she says that the clinic system can't fire him. is there anything we can do? do you have any advice on warding him off? unfortunately, a qualified rn hasn't been found for him yet so we all have to take turns filling in. any advice will be appreciated. i have 4 more times to woprk with him!

    thanks,
    lisa
    Last edit by Nurse Ratched on May 12, '04 : Reason: bringing date of thread to attention
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  2. 28 Comments

  3. by   mustangsheba
    This is a joke, right? I haven't discovered the funny part, but the sad part is that you would even consider working with this person again. Don't even go there!!!
  4. by   P_RN
    I can't believe you walked back INTO his office. This is harrassment pure and simple. You need to sue his A**.
  5. by   galenight
    Remember that your complaints don't exist if they aren't put in writing. I suggest sending your complaint to at least 2 people and putting cc:whoever at the bottom of each one. Also, be sure to keep a copy for yourself. And file a complaint each and every time you work with him and he does something of that nature. You could also write the state licensing board although it probably won't do any good, it will leave a paper trail. And finally, I would suggest seeing an attorney. He can write a letter to this Dr. strongly suggesting he stop this harrassment. This will probably scare the doc enough to quit. The letter will be much less expensive than a lawsuit. Whatever path you take, good luck!
  6. by   debbyed
    I have been around a doctor or two that have acted as you describe. 20 years ago you would have no recourse but to find a new job. Today is a much different story. I would suggest that you professionally document these two occurances. Send a copy to your supervisor and the Administrator of the facility. Also send a copy cc: to your state board, and this doctor. In this letter state that should there be another occurance of what you consider harrassment you will be forced to consider legal recourse.

    By documenting this to the appropriate people you will have fullfilled you responsibility to follow the "chain of command". In the event the physician or the facility attempts to terminate you or discredit you this documentation will go a long way in clearing you name.

    Hope this helps
  7. by   EMaas
    First of all, I didn't lie about the incident. I was talking to 2 coworkers and they began talking about how "weird" this dr is acting lately and about some of the strange things that he says and does. So, I mentioned what happend the day I worked with him. I wasn't gossiping about him behind his back! I stated facts and asked advice of the other women who were expressing concerns. I'm sure one of the them mentioned it to someone who blew it our of context. It IS a small office. Secondly, I did face up with him and admitted that I had talked to these other people about it, and that I was uncomfortable. But for him to get his nurse on the phone and demand that I admit that I lied...that is so unappropriate!

    He does flirt with evey female in the office, and frankly, the concensus is that we are all sick of it because his girlfriend gets jealous and starts asking around trying to find somthing to be mad about. His affair got out of hand when his ex-nurses' husband walked into the clinic during clinic hours and cold-cocked the dr, not once, but twice after his wife told him about the affair. A real good thing for patients to see, don't you think Wildtime??? When I have a 19 year old woman in the office come to me and confess that he has been making her very uncomfortable about discussing details about his "sexual affair" with her, I get concerned. And when our DON says they have no basis for firing him, even after 2 sexual harrassment complaints have been filed, I get even more concerend. I thought I might get some ideas from others who have been in this situation. As for working with him again, I have no choice. We have to take turns until a new hire is brough ont.

    If I didn't know better, I would think you worked in my office and was sitting on my shoulder the whole time...you seem to have such an air of authority on exactly what happened.

    Thanks for your sarcasm and absolute lack of anything useful for my problem. I hope you have gotten out of nursing. It sounds like you need to.

    Last edit by EMaas on Jul 29, '01
  8. by   Doey
    EMaas check out;

    http://www.mycounsel.com/content/emp...source=subsite

    Sexually Harassing Conduct

    Harassment can come in the form of sexual advances, in which the submission to or rejection of the unwelcome advances explicitly or implicitly affects the person's employment (called quid pro quo sexual harassment). Sexual harassment can also occur when unwelcome sexual advances or verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment (called hostile work environment sexual harassment).

    www.end-harassment.com/statelaws.htm

    Sex Discrimination is prohibited, by law, under Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Wisconsin Fair Employment Act and by Wisconsin State Statute 36.12 (Student Discrimination Prohibited).

    You need to get the other nurses involved with you to all take a stand together. I can't believe that nothing happened to this guy especially after the husband came in and bashed him twice during work hours!! According to what I've read your employer is liable for not taking action. Perhaps you should show them some of the info on the above sites to shake them up and tell them you will go further if nothing is done. No one should have to put up with this type of working environment. Good luck.
  9. by   fiestynurse
    Doey is absolutely right on!! You are being sexually harassed!
    I would consult an attorney that specializes in this area of the law before doing anything else. I am appalled that your employer has allowed this to go on as long as it has. You have done nothing wrong--it is not your fault. You should not have to leave your job--he should be fired!
  10. by   fiestynurse
    And another thing!! Wildtime --you need major help--your thinking is really skewed!! No one should be allowed to treat nurses or women this way. Man, this really irks me BIG time!!
  11. by   mustangsheba
    My dear, you ALWAYS have a choice. You just have to decide what consequences you are willing to risk. If the nurses who are required to work with him would stick together and refuse to put themselves at risk, either the manager would have to cover or this guy would have to wait until they find someone to fill the position - whoever that may be. Don't be a victim. Good luck.
  12. by   ALISHAJO
    EMaas, I understand even if Wildtime didn't !!! I think that there is some of this going on at almost all facilities, from either sex. When working with him, STAY PROFESSIONAL IN ATTITUDE AND WITH YOUR WORK!! When he starts in again ( which he will!!), start with "This conversation/action is inappropriate and I do not feel comfortable with it." and go back to gathering what information that you needed in the first place. You need to stay calm, cool, collected and IN CHARGE OF THE SITUATION. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED!! If he continues again, I would repeat the above statement and inform him that you will be notifying whomever is in the chain of command (name the whole list if need be) and your lawyer (pick anyone from a phone directory ) verbally and in writing if this continues. Do not get angry, stay calm!! If he will not let it go, then immediately go to your chain of command or call and demand that he/she come to your department STAT and be persistent!! It should have been brought up at a staff meeting at some point anyway (not naming him specificly but about attitudes and sexual harrassment in the workplace).
    Personally I tend to be cool and very professional around people like this that make me feel uncomfortable. I am being paid to do a job, not be harrassed.
    BE ASSERTIVE GIRL!!!!
  13. by   nurs4kids
    First time ever, I'm gonna kinda agree with Wildtime
    Why is it women and nurses want so bad to be treated as equals, yet if we are even slightly offended we turn into some defenseless, pathetic species and want someone else to defend us?? I get so sick of the "sexual harrassment" claims. How many times have you seen nurses chasing doctors...like dogs in heat? Do these doctors claim "sexual harrassment"? No, they take it for what it is..a few minutes of harmless humor..and they move on. Why is what someone says to us so awful that we have to become offended over it? Brush it off, if you can find a strand of humor in your bones, laugh at it..and go on. Your coworkers used you as a joke, played along to find out your story, laughed behind your back and then ran to the doctor and all of them had a good laugh. He can hardly carry on a one way conversation about his past experience..ignore him, refuse to humor him..if this is truly how it happened. Or you can report him..but I'd be dang sure I didn't somehow encourage this conversation. If we want to be treated as equal, then we have got to show the strength of those with whom we wish to be equal. Lighten up..if he didn't touch you physically, then he hasn't invaded you personally.
  14. by   maikranz
    What, are we back in the '50s? He darn well too can be fired; I'm not sure what time warp your DON is in, but if she is aware of this and does nothing, then s/he can get in a great deal of legal trouble as well. Sexual harrassment does not need to involve touch to be considered as such. This sounds like a strange place to work; I sure would not be working for an idiot such as this.

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