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University Health Shreveport nurse files sexual harassment lawsuit against hospital

Lawsuits

By Takesha Thomas | Sep 22, 2018


University Health Shreveport Nurse is suing hospital | morguefile

SHREVEPORT  —  A University Health Shreveport nurse is suing the hospital after she claims she was ostracized for notifying  human resources of alleged sexual harassment by her supervisor that included alleged sexual comments and inappropriate touching. 

Dana Smith has been employed with University Health Shreveport since October 2013 as a clinical nurse supervisor. She claims that from August 2015-August 2016 she was subjected to sexual harassment from her immediate director and allegedly endured retaliation for filing a complaint to the hospital's human resources department. 

The retaliation she claims extended to her authority as a supervisor being ignored and/or undermined and her request allegedly being denied to take time off after her father's death, under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Smith filed the complaint on Sept. 11, in U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division. She is seeking a trial by jury; back pay including pre-judgement interest and any other benefits or seniority to which she may have been entitled or to which she may have lost as a result of of the discrimination against her; compensatory damages and punitive damages. 

According to the filing, Smith claims that her immediate director began sexually harassing her almost immediately when she was on-boarded in August 2015. 

She claims that he said sexually inappropriate things and asked several inappropriate and sexually charged questions of her. Those comments allegedly included supervisor Stephen Beaudion telling Smith that "I'm not going to be able to keep my hands off you." He allegedly asked her what she was wearing under her scrubs and allegedly speculated on the attractiveness of specific parts of her body would likely be in a pair of jeans.

Prior to Beaudoin becoming her supervisor, Smith claims that when she notified him in June 2015 that "another nurse was aggressive and physically abusive toward her,"  and he allegedly did nothing to alleviate the situation. 

According to the complaint, Smith sent two emails to Beaudoin and the chief nursing officer in July 2015 regarding the alleged incident involving the other nurse, inquiring if any action was being taken regarding her incident report. 

Smith claims that this made Beaudion upset, and she was told that she could no longer participate in wearing jeans on Fridays and had to report to work one hour earlier. No other nursing supervisor had to do so, she claims. Smith called the incident a "blatant and astonishing act of retaliation and unprofessionalism," according to court documents.

Smith claims that when Beaudion became her direct supervisor, he attempted to force himself on her while in his office. According to the complaint, on several occasions the supervisor allegedly exposed himself to her, said sexually inappropriate things and sent inappropriate text messages. He also allegedly pulled up her blouse and he dress on separate occasions.

On Aug. 1 2016, Smith filed a formal complaint of sexual harassment and retaliation with the hospital's human resources department. Smith doesn't believe an investigation was conducted, according to the complaint. However, the supervisor she claims harassed her was removed as her direct supervisor on Aug. 16. 

However, he still is a hospital director, according to the complaint, and Smith alleges she sees him in meetings, in the elevator and around the hospital.

In the complaint, Smith claims that she suffered further harassment as retaliation since her current director is also friends with the accused. Adding that she "often feels ostracized and her authority as a Clinical Nurse Supervisor is often undermined." 

Additionally, Smith claims that she was denied time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act from human resources after her father died in August 2018 and she filed a claim in September. 

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U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Shreveport Division

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