Donohue Cardiology Associates, a Washington, Pennsylvania-based cardiology practice, agreed in June to pay $125,000 to settle an EEOC sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.
The EEOC claimed that cardiologists Dr. Bryan Donohue, Dr. Sanjaya Saheta, and Dr. Christopher Allen, who were owners, shareholders or officers of the medical practice, subjected a registered nurse, Moncel Deitz, and two other female employees to a sexually hostile work environment over an eight-year period.
According to the complaint, the sexual harassment became much worse after Dr. Donohue became Chief of Cardiology at UPMC-Shadyside in 2005, where she was allegedly subjected to “sexually harassing comments, innuendos, and gestures by Dr. Donohue, Dr. Allen, and Dr. Saheta” on a daily basis.
The EEOC also claims that after Deitz and other employees complained about the harassment to the harassers and to other owners/shareholders of the practice, she was terminated by Donohue Cardiology Associates in retaliation for her opposition to the sexual harassment.
Debra M. Lawrence, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Philadelphia District Office, said, “If the owners or officers of a business engage in unlawful harassment, the law imposes automatic liability for that conduct. We are pleased that the federal court acknowledged this important point of law in an earlier ruling in this case, and that it approved the parties’ negotiated consent decree, which is designed to protect all employees at the medical practice from unlawful harassment and retaliation.”