Former Lakeside Director Fired for Reporting Sexual Harrassment

A former Director of Staff Development and Infection Control filed a lawsuit against UHS of Lakeside d/b/a Lakeside Behavioral Health Systems, alleging she was wrongfully terminated for reporting inappropriate sexual conduct and harassment perpetuated by a mental health technician (MHT) at the facility. She claims that in early 2013, she began receiving inappropriate and “sexually-harassing” text and picture messages from the MHT. She alleges that even though she voiced her complaints to several of her superiors, Lakeside failed to investigate the sexual harassment complaints and no prompt and appropriate corrective action was taken. For example, she reported these events to her immediate supervisor, even though she had a “incredible fear of retaliation by Lakeside’s Administration for making such complaints, considering Lakeside Administration’s past practice of retaliating against employees for making complaints,” but received no meaningful response. She then sent her supervisor, Lisa Weaver, an email voicing her opposition about the manner in which her complaints were being handled and processed. The email stated, inter alia, “Two hours after our conversation, I am greatly concerned that I cannot go to my administrator about a matter such as this and not worry about being threatened.” The Plaintiff claims that within 20 minutes of sending the email,  Joy Golden, the CEO of the facility, called her into her office in the presence of her supervisor and the HR manager. The Plaintiff claims that she was yelled at and berated during the meeting, rather than being asked about the sexual harassment complaints. She claims that Golden, “screamed, yelled at and berated Plaintiff Harrington for more than two hours about her sending the email to Weaver, contending the email had become an official document that could be used against Lakeside.” She claims that Golden concluded the meeting by telling Plaintiff Harrington that she (Harrington) would be fired if she talked with anyone about her sexual harassment complaints against the MHT, while the MHT allegedly “continued to work his regular shift without any discipline being taken against him.” The case is ongoing as of October 2014.