Sexual Harassment by Dentist

Sexual harassment is against multiple laws in the State of California. It is a crime involving the sexual misconduct of a perpetrator, often in a workplace setting. Sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination can create a hostile work environment, making it impossible for a victim to do his or her job. It can also cause significant emotional distress and physical injuries.

Dentist sexual harassment specifically refers to a dental practitioner committing this crime against his or her coworkers or patients. It is a heinous violation of public trust. It is important to protect your rights as a survivor of dentist sexual harassment in California. Hire a California sexual harassment lawyer from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to represent your rights and interests during a civil claim. One of our attorneys can be your voice during insurance negotiations or a sexual harassment lawsuit. Call (855) 824-1722 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Sexual Harassment in Dentistry

No industry is immune from sexual harassment. This includes medical fields and practices such as dentistry. While sexual harassment is not common in dentistry, it does happen. Previous victims have filed complaints against dentists for sexual harassment and misconduct against both coworkers and patients. Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII. This act prohibits unwelcome sexual conduct and behaviors and applies to all employers in the US with 15 employees or more. State laws in California provide additional protections against sexual harassment.

What Is Dentist Sexual Harassment?

Your dentist has a legal duty to fulfill certain standards of care to you as a patient. If a dentist falls short of these expectations or commits a crime such as sexual harassment, you may have grounds to file a claim against him or her. Dentist sexual harassment refers to unwelcome sexual advances or actions of a sexual nature by a dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, dental technician, surgeon or another staff member at a dentist’s office. Sexual harassment at a dentist’s office can take many forms.

  • Quid pro quo harassment
  • Requests or demands for sexual favors
  • Sexual favors used for promotions
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Exposure of genitals
  • Verbal comments of a sexually explicit nature
  • Sexualized gestures or facial expressions
  • Open displays of inappropriate content
  • Inappropriate compliments or comments on looks
  • Discrimination based on a protected class

Dentist sexual harassment can affect patients or workers. A patient may go under anesthesia or nitrous oxide (laughing gas), for example, and suffer sexual harassment or abuse by the dentist while unconscious. In other cases, a dentist may discriminate against a patient based on his or her sex or sexual identity. Dentist sexual harassment can also affect fellow employees in the office, creating a hostile work environment for victims.

California Sexual Harassment Laws

California is one of the most progressive states in terms of anti-sexual harassment laws. It has many statutes prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination. These laws include the Fair Employment and Housing Act. This law makes it illegal to discriminate against job applicants and employees on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression, sexual identity, pregnancy status, relationship status and other protected classes. This law also gives victims of sexual harassment legal remedies. Another law, California Civil Code 51.9, allows a victim to hold a professional and/or business liable for sexual harassment.

Dental Practice Liability for Sexual Harassment

It is possible to hold a dentist or dentist’s office liable if a professional committed sexual harassment or discrimination against you. The civil justice system in California allows survivors to file claims in pursuit of justice, accountability and financial compensation. California Civil Code 51.9 states that a person will be liable during a sexual harassment cause of action if the plaintiff can prove a few key elements.

  1. The plaintiff and the defendant had a professional or business relationship. This includes a patient’s relationship with a dentist or physician.
  2. The defendant committed sexual harassment in the form of pervasive or severe sexual conduct, demands for sexual compliance, sexual requests, or unsolicited advances.
  3. The plaintiff suffered or will suffer damages as a result of the defendant’s conduct. Damages can include economic losses, disadvantages, personal injuries and emotional distress.

It will be you or your sexual harassment attorney’s responsibility to prove these elements before a judge or jury during a civil claim in California. Proving your case will take a preponderance of the evidence. Evidence may include physical injuries, medical reports, expert testimony, eyewitness accounts, video surveillance footage and police reports. A lawyer from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi may be able to help you prove a dentist’s liability for your damages.

Hostile Work Environment in Dental Offices

If you work in a dental office in California and experience sexual harassment or discrimination, complain to your employer right away. Then, file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC can investigate and take action against your employer, if applicable. You may then hire a lawyer to help you file a claim against your employer for sexual harassment.

Compensation for Victims of Dentist Sexual Harassment

We know your goals are not only monetary as the survivor of dentist sexual harassment. A successful claim against a perpetrator could also lead to serious penalties against the dentist, such as jail time and professional license revocation. A lawsuit could prevent others from the same fate you suffered. However, we also recognize the importance of financial compensation for a wronged patient or employee. A successful sexual harassment claim could repay you for lost wages, related medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Learn the value of your claim during a conversation with our attorneys today.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Sexual Harassment Lawyer

The role of your lawyer during a dentist sexual harassment claim is critical. Your lawyer can represent you during insurance claim negotiations or a lawsuit against a dental practice. You do not have to face your perpetrator in person if you do not wish. Your lawyer from Manly, Stewart & Finaldi can take over negotiations and hearings on your behalf.

We fight aggressively on behalf of clients for the best possible case results. Our attorneys know what it takes to hold a dentist or another health care practitioner responsible for harassment, assault and discrimination. We can help you prove dentist sexual harassment and bring a perpetrator to justice. Call (855) 824-1722 or contact us online today to learn more during a free and 100% confidential consultation.