My DON is sexually harassing me


Ladies, I am at a loss.

Since I was fired from my first job at a LTC facility, I've had massive anxiety about keeping a job and keeping enough money to take care of my kids. I worked as an agency nurse for about 2 months while I found more reliable work elsewhere, and I did. I got a full time, day shift position at another LTC facility working on the rehab hall. My DON- a male- was the ADON when I hired on. He did my interview and was hesitant to hire me because of my explanation of my termination. However, the DON (a female) thought I would be a good fit and I was hired.

The sexual harassment started almost right away. The ADON was curious about my sexual orientation (he heard me mention my "partner") and when I confirmed that I was in fact, a lesbian, it opened a can of worms i was unprepared for. It turned him on, and he was NOT shy about telling me so. He would touch my legs under tables, give me back massages while I was trying to work, pull me of the floor to have sexually explicit conversations with me, ect. I know more about this man's sex life than I EVER wanted to know about anyone.

About two months into my new job, the DON abruptly left the job to move to FL with her husband and the ADON moved into the position. Since then, he's constantly making inappropriate comments, trying to touch me, ect.

I am terrified of losing this job. I've been here 6 months and I am preparing to go back to school so I can get my RN and get a hospital job where I belong. I've indicated that it makes me uncomfortable and it has actually made my anxiety worse- where I have panic attacks at work. I've told HR several times, and nothing is done. Last week she actually told me she didn't want to know, so she could stay out of it. She said that I am not the only one he does it to, that the ED knows, and nothing is ever done. I feel that I am unable to approach the ED directly because he is friendly with the DON.

So what are my options?? FT and day shift positions are hard to come by in this town, especially when I am heading back to school soon. I am terrified that if I say anything, I am going to lose my job. What can I do?


1,062 Posts

You have rights, contact a good lawyer who can advise you appropriately.

Very sorry that you are in this situation, astounding that HR is not responding

correctly. That is especially why you need a lawyer.

dishes, BSN, RN

3,950 Posts

It doesn't matter if HR doesn't want to know, sexual harrassment is illegal and employers are required to stop it. First become informed of harassment laws by reading your government website and contacting the equal oppprtunity commission for support and guidance Harassment.

I suggest (but you can confirm this with eeoc) you write a letter to HR, describe the details of the harassment and the dates, and the dates that you verbally reported it to HR and their response, express your fear that if you are being forced to put up with sexual harassment because you fear being fired, state that sexual harassment is illegal and must cease immediatly. Sign and date the letter, make a photocopy and give it to HR.

MrChicagoRN, RN

2,589 Posts

Specializes in Leadership, Psych, HomeCare, Amb. Care. Has 30 years experience.




Every occurrence, date, time, place. direct quotes when possible.

Every contact with HR, including the name & reponse of every person you are dealing with.

Do you have an EAP program that you could speak with in confidence? Your state department of labor? EEOC?


932 Posts

Yuck. I'm sorry that's happening to you. I'm also wondering why the DON abruptly left and if there is a story there that is similar to yours.

I hope you can make use of the good advice here and follow up, find a lawyer and pursue this with HR.

One way or another this is going to force you to make a decision about whether you can deal with this job any longer, and if this man escalates his behavior you may find yourself without any choices at all. So please don't walk out the door without making your reasons known.

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

4,388 Posts

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health. Has 10 years experience.

Ouch !!! Agree with all the above advice. And do be careful. Document EVERYTHING and make copies. Get this resolved ASAP.

NO ONE should have to put up with this nonsense. EVER.

What a dirtball. :madface:

Has 13 years experience.

That is so disgusting. UGH! :barf01:What a loser. You should not have to tolerate this. You have 1 of two choices. Contact a lawyer or quit. Good luck to you.

Specializes in Correctional, QA, Geriatrics. Has 39 years experience.

Check your employee handbook. There should be a policy listed with phone numbers of who to report issues that are not being handled appropriately at a facility level. Also as other posters have suggested write a letter with as much detail as possible (dates, times, touches, etc) and give a copy to both HR and the ED. Or even better write the letter and have your attorney submit it to them. After giving them the letter if they do not immediately contact you and attempt to resolve this issue report it above their heads. Sexual harrassment is forbidden by both state and federal mandates; hence the mandatory policy for employee education regarding it cuz facilities could possibly be affected financially for allowing a hostile work environment to continue.

It is scary to think about possibly losing this job but I beg you to not allow this man to continue his sexual harrassment. I mean would you allow him to hit you or verbally abuse you? This is abuse. You can choose to do nothing and seek another job but he will not stop until someone makes him stop. People have a right to work in an environment free of this kind of violence and it is a form of violence. You have an opportunity to help stop him.

Specializes in Med-Surg/urology.

How awful! Work is stressful enough w/o being harassed. Sorry you're going through this. I agree with everyone. Document, see who you can talk to..maybe if you got together with the other people he is harassing, ALL of you could approach the ED. I'm sure that the ED would be more keen to do something if there are numerous complaints..whatever you decide to do, good luck.