San Francisco Dentist Sexual Harassment Lawyer
The last thing you expect when you go to a dental office in San Francisco for oral health care is to be sexually harassed by the dentist, dental hygienist or another staff member. Unfortunately, many unsuspecting patients experience dentist sexual harassment and abuse each year. If you have recently been affected by the sexual misconduct of a dentist in San Francisco, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi to speak to a highly experienced San Francisco sexual harassment attorney about a potential case.
Defining Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment means to make unwelcome sexual advances, requests, gestures or comments. It can refer to physical, verbal or visual harassment of a sexual nature. It can also mean harassment that is not necessarily sexualized but based on a person’s sex, such as comments on someone’s looks or gender identity. Any type of discrimination, unfair treatment or abuse of a person because of his or her sex or of a sexual nature can constitute sexual harassment.
There are two main types of sexual harassment: quid pro quo and hostile work environment. Quid pro quo means “this for that.” It is a type of sexual harassment that involves requests or arrangements for sexual favors in return for something, such as a job promotion. A hostile work environment means that sexual misconduct is persistent enough to create a workplace where one or more people feel unsafe or unwelcome.
What Does Dentist Sexual Harassment Look Like?
Dentist sexual harassment specifically refers to unwelcome behavior or actions based on sex in the context of a dentist’s office. It most often describes sexual harassment committed by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist against a patient. However, dentist sexual abuse in San Francisco can also involve coworkers or employees.
Examples of dentist sexual harassment include:
- Sexually inappropriate jokes or remarks
- Derogatory comments or ethnic slurs
- Inappropriate hand gestures or facial expressions
- Asking a patient out on a date
- Propositioning a patient for sex or sexual favors
- Pressuring or threatening a patient
- Posting offensive pictures or cartoons around the office
- Exposing genitals or private parts
- Touching a patient inappropriately
- Kissing, fondling or groping a patient
- Taking advantage of a patient while under anesthesia or nitrous oxide
Any behavior by your dental professional that appears meant to annoy, alarm, torment, threaten or sexually abuse you can constitute sexual harassment. Dentist sexual harassment is not always obvious. It can be subtle or covert, such as strange remarks or the brushing of the dentist’s hand where it does not belong. If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment or assault by a dentist, you should take immediate action.
What Laws Are in Place to Protect Dental Patients From Sexual Harassment?
Dentist sexual harassment is a crime as well as a heinous violation of public trust. There are state and federal laws that prohibit sexual harassment, assault and abuse within the dental profession. For example, the State of California requires all employers with at least five employees to provide sexual harassment and abusive conduct training. Supervisory employees must complete two hours of training every two years. This training must include real-life examples of sexual harassment.
On a federal level, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII, states that sexual harassment is a prohibited type of discrimination. This law bans unwelcome sexual conduct and behaviors by employers, workers and others in the U.S. It applies to all employers in the country with 15 or more employees. If a dentist or another type of dental professional violates this code, he or she could face both criminal and civil consequences.
If a dentist is accused of committing sexual harassment or assault against employees and/or patients, he or she could face a review by the California Dental Board. This Board has the authorization to suspend or terminate a dentist’s professional license if evidence of harassment is discovered, meaning the harasser will no longer legally be allowed to treat patients. Reporting a dentist to the Board can protect yourself and others in the San Francisco community from further harassment from the professional.
Compensation for Dentist Sexual Harassment Victims
If you are a victim of dentist sexual harassment in San Francisco, you have rights. Through the civil justice system, you could receive financial compensation for several past and future losses by bringing a claim against the dentist or dental office. The dentist’s insurance company may be held responsible for the damages that you suffered. These could include:
- Medical expenses and hospital bills
- Therapy, counseling and psychological care
- Prescription medications
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Attorney’s fees and out-of-pocket costs
- Punitive damages, in some cases
While no amount of money can make up for the emotional and psychological harm that you have suffered as a survivor of sexual abuse in San Francisco, it could help you and your family move forward with greater financial peace of mind. When you are ready to file a claim, contact a dentist sexual harassment attorney for assistance.
How San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyer Can Help
No matter what type of evidence you do or do not have against a dentist, his or her insurance company may try to reject your sexual harassment claim. The insurance company will not be on your side. It is important to protect your rights by hiring a lawyer during insurance settlement negotiations. Otherwise, you could accept and be locked into a deal that does not adequately pay for your losses – or receive no compensation at all for your life-changing trauma. Your lawyer can help you seek maximum financial results for your case using proven legal strategies. Most importantly, your attorney can give you an advocate during this difficult time.
Contact Our San Francisco Sexual Harassment Lawyers Today
Dentist sexual abuse in San Francisco and beyond can victimize patients or workers. If you or a loved one is a survivor of this crime in San Francisco, help is available at Manly, Stewart & Finaldi. We can carefully investigate your claim to search for evidence of sexual harassment, assault or abuse by your dental care provider. Then, we can guide you through the steps involved in pursuing justice and fair monetary compensation. Start with a free and confidential case evaluation. Call (855) 944-0710 or contact us online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.