New Haven, CT- Two separate federal lawsuits accuse a professor for the Yale School of Medicine of a pattern of sexual harassment that dates back almost a decade.
The New York Times reports that Yale quietly forced Professor Rex L. Mahnensmith, a kidney doctor, to resign after he was accused of sexual harassing employees at the dialysis center where university doctors sent their patients.
The complaint alleges that in 2002, Mahnensmith pressed his erect penis of a social worker who was sitting on a stool in the facility. When she reported the incident, she was told “this was the culture of the clinic” and basically told she learn to tolerate the Dr. Mahnensmith’s inappropriate behavior.
Fellow doctors also noticed Dr. Mahnensmith’s inappropriate behavior as the lawsuit noted.
Other plaintiffs experienced similar behavior while working at the dialysis clinic, but all the people who had the authority to stop the doctor’s inappropriate behavior did nothing to stop him. The dialysis clinic, owned by Colorado-based DaVita took no action because they wanted money and recognition that accompanied their contract with Yale, according to the complaint, the Times reported.
Yale took no action either and, though they declined to comment about this lawsuit, they told the Times they take sexual harassment seriously.
The seven women came forward with their allegations last year and after they were unable to satisfactorily resolve their allegations, leading the plaintiffs to file their federal suits in February.
Sexual assault and harassment on college and university campuses has become a major issue that is hard to combat since victims are reluctant to come forward. Many of the people who do come forward encounter the same problem as the women working under Mahnensmith; administrators fail to take corrective actions against the offending student, Professor, faculty or staff member.
There are many cases of sexual harassment that are taken seriously and are appropriately addressed by an employer or a university. But there are far too many instances, this one included, in which sexual harassment is not addressed because the harasser is considered to be a valuable employee or they bring with them prestige and money. Many employees care very little about the pain and anguish sexual harassment causes the victim.
Victims often turn to sexual harassment attorneys because they have already gone through the process of telling the harasser to stop, filing a formal complaint with their employer and even going so far as to find new employment. Oftentimes the victim of harassment also faces retaliation. A sexual harassment lawsuit is the last resort for the majority of harassment victims, and despite the prevailing wisdom, most sexual harassment complaints are not frivolous attempts at a financial windfall. Most sexual harassment cases are a means to get justice of being systematically and repeatedly sexually abused.
Any person who has been sexually harassed at work or school, but has had their complaints ignored should speak with a sexual harassment attorney at USAttorneys immediately. With legal assistance, a victim of sexual harassment can seek compensation for their emotional distress, lost wages and any medical bills they incur.