Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reporting Sexual Harassment

One of the newer orderlies needs to find a new job because she is already doomed at this one.

Early on, she accused another orderly of sexual harassment.  Their union took his side, as did the administration of the hospital.

I've worked with this male orderly and fully believe that he said and did what the new female orderly accused him of.  He's worked at the hospital for decades and is one of the people who says and does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and gets away with it every time.

This is not meant to be a debate on whether or not sexual harassment should be reported.  Predictably, in this altered universe of a hospital, the accuser was the one who was found to be wrong.

She stuck around, hoping for full time.

She approached me upset, saying that the director of nursing held a meeting with her.  She was next up for a full-time position, but because of her earlier sexual harassment complaint, she could not have full-time.  "The two of you might end up assigned to the same ward, and we can't have Mr X working with the woman who tried to get him fired."

Sure, it's wrong.  We commiserated together.  This is retribution for making the sexual harassment complaint.  The scheduling problem is ridiculous.  Plenty of orderlies and nurses have long lists of people they refuse to work with; some are honored, some are not.

But the orderly has no proof that full-time is available and that it is being withheld because of the reasons given above.  Hospital administration will not cooperate in producing such evidence, and the orderly's union will take her money but not speak to her.

My advice was for her to write a letter to the director of nursing with a copy to the union, accepting the full-time position, with mention of the possible scheduling conflict as something to be dealt with if it arises.

Now she has a dated letter floating around.  It's either proof of the hospital's wrong doings or proof that she is delusional.

Of course the hospital did not respond in writing.  Instead, the orderly was called back to the director of nursing's office and told that months ago, before the full-time offer was made, an employee complained that the orderly showed her a picture of a naked man in the parking lot.  Because it was on hospital grounds, it counts as being at work, and that she is a sexual harasser.

Hold on.  When I complained about the witch who went psycho on me in the parking lot, trying to use the incident to bolster my request that I be reassigned to a different area of the hospital, I was told that what happens in the parking lot has nothing to do with work.

The orderly denied showing a naked picture to anyone.  We both agreed that if this was such an issue, it would have been addressed months ago when it supposedly happened.

I asked for the identity of the complainer and was surprised, not because she is nice, which she is not, but because she has no interactions with nursing.  She works in a different building that handles billing and insurance matters.  I only know of her because she parks in the fire lanes and sometimes has loud arguments with security about her right to do so.

"She has to be connected to someone and is cooperating with the hospital's plan to not give you full-time," I offered.  Then it occurred to me.  Her favored, albeit illegal, parking spots are on camera because they are next to the buildings.  The woman refuses to walk far in her high heels.  "If you showed her the naked picture in the parking lot, it's on camera."

We both smiled for a moment at the genius of this idea, but the reality of the circumstances soon hit us.  "There is no way that the hospital will let you review months of footage to demonstrate that you and this woman never interacted in the parking lot.  Your own union will take the hospital's side with such a request.  Even if the hospital rescinds this complaint, they will invent another accusation against you to justify not giving you full-time," I told her.

"You need to get out," I continued.  "Other people stay for the health insurance and tuition reimbursement, but you cannot even have that because you are part-time.  All you get is a lousy paycheck, made less by the mandatory union dues- the same union that took someone else's side and now ignores you.  This will not get any better.  I speak from experience."

She agreed, but said she can't find other work.  "I get it," I told her.  "But you could probably make more money waiting tables in a diner.  Run!"

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