oak brook medical license defense lawyerAccording to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) workplace sexual harassment continues to be a major issue in the United States. Although significant strides have been made in the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment in the workplace, there is still far to go. Workplace sexual harassment can be found in just about every industry, and the medical field is no exception. And while accusations of workplace sexual harassment can wreak havoc in any employer’s life, when a physician is accused of inappropriate behavior, it can also mean the loss of their medical license.

Workplace Sexual Harassment Continues to Exist in the United States

More than 6,500 complaints of workplace sexual harassment were filed with the EEOC in 2020, a decrease of about 1,000 complaints as compared to the year before. Although there are several factors which may play into that decrease, the COVID-19 pandemic causing business shutdowns and many employees working at home may have been a significant one. Unfortunately, the EEOC also estimates that a great many incidents of workplace sexual harassment go unreported because the victims fear there will be retaliation, the belief that nobody will believe the allegations to be true, and the belief that nothing will be done to stop the harassing behavior.                     

Sexual Harassment in the Medical Industry

Sexual harassment by physicians fall into two categories – both totally unacceptable according to the Federation of State Medical Boards. There is the workplace sexual harassment committed by physicians against other medical professionals, usually employees that they are in a place of power over. There are also cases of sexual harassment where doctors target patients.

According to a statement made earlier this year by the Federation, the power dynamic that exists between doctors and patients places patients in a vulnerable position, and any sexual misconduct committed by a physician against a patient needs to be met with swift action by the state medical board that holds that doctor’s license. This action should include suspension or revocation of the doctor’s medical license, as well as notifying law enforcement of the alleged misconduct.

And it is not just doctors who are alleged to have committed sexual misconduct who should face disciplinary action, according to the recommendation issued by the Federation. In their statement, the Federation stressed that other physicians have an ethical duty to report any suspected sexual misconduct by another doctor and failure to report may subject them to disciplinary action for unprofessional conduct. This action can include a letter of reprimand, fines, or even suspension of their medical license.

Contact an Illinois Professional License Defense Attorney

If you are a physician who has been accused of sexual harassment – either with an employee or a patient – or you are a doctor who is accused of failing to report, your medical license, reputation, and possibly your career could be at stake. Call The Law Offices of Joseph J. Bogdan, LLC at 630-310-1267 to schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled Illinois medical license defense lawyer. Do not delay.

Sources:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2778157

 

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