Most people assume that a hospice is a place that is free of conflict. It is a place for those with terminal illnesses to live the last days of their lives in as much comfort and peace as possible. However, three former employees of a Florida hospice allege that sexual harassment made their time anything but peaceful.
Three women filed a suit in early March. In it, they state they were subjected to a long list of offensive actions from male coworkers, most of which related to verbal exchanges. Instead of receiving relief from these men's actions, they allege, they were punished. The women suspect they were fired because they did not participate in the behavior.
The women also claim they complained about the behavior to people at work as well as with a state board of human relations. Depositions for the case are set to begin in June, but hospice officials claim they take matters of sexual harassment seriously. The suit requests over $15,000 in damages.
It is hopeful to think that in today's more progressive society behavior such as the women allege would be eradicated. However, that is clearly not the case. Fortunately, people are becoming more willing to stand up for themselves in such incidences of sexual harassment. Everyone is entitled to a work place free from harassment, allowing them to complete the job for which they have been hired. Now it will be up to a Florida civil court to determine if these women are entitled to compensation and, if so, how much.
Source: The Palm Beach Post, "Lawsuit claims sex jokes, harassment of female employees at hospice of Palm Beach County," Charles Elmore, April 2, 2013