Five women allege Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics did nothing to stop a male coworker at West Valley Hospital in Dallas from sexually harassing them.
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries complaints filed by the women and obtained by the Statesman Journal reveal an alleged pattern of behavior the women say went unaddressed by Salem Health, one of the region's largest private employers.
BOLI spokeswoman Christine Lewis confirmed all five complaints remain under investigation.
In a statement to the Statesman Journal, Laurie Barr, Salem Health's chief human resources officer, said, "There is no tolerance here at Salem Health for sexual harassment. Employees are encouraged to bring forward any complaints they have and retaliation for bringing a complaint is not tolerated."
The allegations, first reported by KOIN 6 News, include:
- The employee describing his genitalia and sex life;
- Showing "sexually suggestive videos";
- Making multiple comments about marrying one worker;
- Offering to lick a blood stain from a female employee's shirt;
- Licking his lips in a sexual way;
- Inappropriately touching female workers;
- Making sexual comments about female workers' appearance.
The allegations date to 2013 and continued at least through the time the complaints were filed earlier this year.
"I did report the harassment on several occasions to management, but nothing was done to stop the harassment," one of the women wrote in her BOLI complaint. "I have had to continue working within very close proximity of" the male worker.
Several of the women said they faced retaliation after reporting the harassment to Salem Health management, including changes to their schedules, workplace intimidation and written reprimands.
"The retaliation became so bad that I had to cut my hours due to the stress," one woman wrote.
Another wrote that she had "become physically ill from having to continue to work with (the male coworker) and enduring continued harassment in the workplace."
Salem Health's Barr said, "What we will share is that in any situation where an employee brings a concern forward, whether it is a concern of harassment, discrimination or retaliation or any other type of serious workplace matter, we have a process to investigate such complaints and we take that responsibility very seriously."
Aaron Reber, a Salem Health spokesman, said they could not comment on whether the male worker was still employed.
"When complaints are substantiated, we take appropriate and effective remedial steps to address the inappropriate behavior, up to and including termination of employment," Barr said.
Barr pointed to workplace harassment training all employees must complete yearly.
"This training communicates Salem Health’s commitment to a harassment free, discrimination free, and retaliation free workplace, the role leaders and employees play in creating and maintaining that culture, and the steps employees should take if they have any concerns about conduct in the workplace," Barr said.
Should complainants pursue a lawsuit, BOLI would stop investigating and close associated case files, Lewis said. A lawyer representing the five women could not be reached for comment Friday.
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