Lawsuit: Doctor Sexual Harassment Toward Employees

Three women have filed a federal lawsuit against the medical center where  they once worked, saying the doctor who owns it made unwanted sexual advances  toward them. The suit was filed Monday against the Pain Relief Centers, P.A., which has  operated clinics in Conover, Statesville and Salisbury, North Carolina. It was filed by former  employees Deana Lingle, Leslie Treadway and Robin Perun.

The women allege that Dr. Hans Christian Hansen, the company’s owner and  principal, created a “sexually hostile work environment” and that they were  subject to “adverse employment action” after turning down his advances.

A woman who answered the phone Tuesday afternoon at the Pain Relief Centers’  office in Conover said no one was immediately available to comment on the  suit. Lingle, Treadway and Perun say Hansen subjected them to “sexual comments,  proposals, overtures, and unwanted and unwelcome physical touching” on multiple  occasions, according to the suit, which was filed in federal court in  Statesville.

For example, each alleges Hansen rubbed against their breasts and asked  questions about their sex life. Two of the women said he attempted to or did  kiss them or pull at their clothing. In another claim, one of the women said Hansen once  told her he had dreamed she had danced naked for him. He also reportedly asked  her “if you —- everyone else, why not let me?”

In the suit, Lingle and Treadway said they both reported Hansen’s conduct to  office managers. A former director said she had received other complaints and  “that there was nothing she could do – that (Hansen) would not listen to her,”  according to the lawsuit. The suit also says all three women filed charges with the Equal Employment  Opportunity Commission, alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and a hostile  work environment. Lingle and Treadway also filed discrimination charges related  to their departure from the company. The suit said the EEOC determined that the women had been subjected to  harassment and that there was “reasonable cause” to believe their civil rights  were violated. But the suit said efforts at “conciliation” failed, and the EEOC  issued notices giving the women the right to sue their employer.

Each of the women says she suffered damages in excess of $100,000 and seeks  compensatory and punitive damages. Lingle and Treadway also are requesting to be  reinstated to their job at the Pain Relief Centers “following the imposition of  reasonable corrective measures to protect them.”

By April Bethea
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