Hospital employee claims promotion denial due to harassment complaint

Kelly Holleran Jul. 15, 2009, 6:37am

An Orange County man says he was wrongly terminated and was denied advancement after reporting a supervisor's sexual harassment.

Charles Houser filed a lawsuit July 10 in Jefferson County District Court against Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas and Medi-Dyn Inc.

Houser claims he worked as a supervisor for Baptist Hospitals for five years at both their Beaumont and Orange locations.

Although he received payments from Baptist Hospitals, Houser reported to managers who worked for Medi-Dyn, according to the complaint.

One of those managers, Nicole Glass, began harassing Houser and his co-workers shortly after she was hired in May 2007, the suit states.

"On more than one occasion, Ms. Glass pulled her pants down �and on one occasion she grabbed my buttocks" the complaint states.

Glass was eventually fired for sexual harassment in August after Houser talked to the human resources department at Baptist Hospitals and to the hospital's CEO, he claims.

In September, Houser applied for director of the Orange Baptist Hospital location � the same position from which Glass was fired, according to the complaint.

However, he was denied the position with no explanation and instead a director from the Beaumont location, Frank Hunter, was transferred to Orange to serve as interim director, the suit states.

Houser alleges that soon after his transfer, Hunter began to write Houser up for minor issues, but did not write up other workers, the complaint says.

Without warning, Houser claims he was terminated on Oct. 16 and was told he was being let go because he was the "low man on the totem pole." However, all of Houser's co-workers except for two had less seniority than him, according to the complaint.

"Defendants intentionally discriminated against plaintiff by failing to promote him, and later terminating him because of his opposition to the discriminatory practices and/or hostile work environment put in place by his supervisor," the suit states.

Houser is seeking compensatory, actual and punitive damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees and costs.

Eric W. Newell of Brent Coon and Associates in Beaumont will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D184-485.

More News