Work Harassment – Ani Chopourian’s Story

In the fall of 1991 a stunned and confused nation watched a law professor charge a Supreme Court nominee with blatant sexual harassment on prime time television.
Stunned….because never before had there been this kind of media attention to sexual harassment. Confused….because the lines can seem unclear and sexual harassment is inextricably aligned to perception.

Shortly thereafter the nightly news and national magazines carried stories of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination in the military. Those events brought to light something that millions of Americans already knew: sexual harassment and retaliation is a pervasive, destructive, social, legal and ethical problem. And it is a problem which workers have not escaped

Sexual harassment, a form of sex discrimination, and retaliation for reporting it, is one of the most persistent and destructive problems in the U.S. workplace. While potentially a problem for both sexes, the majority of sexual harassment is from men to women, and few working women have not experienced sexual harassment.

Although sexual harassment is clearly illegal, it continues, despite the high cost to the employee and the harassed individual. And, despite the protections of the law, many who have been harassed do not bring complaints. Sex role stereotyping, distribution of power and socialization are among the chief factors contributing to sexual harassment.

Filing charges can be humiliating. Victims may feel that their charges will be ignored or down played, or they may be accused of behavior that invited the offensive conduct. They may be ridiculed, face hostility or retaliation: poor work assignments, reduced hours, poor evaluations, or even the loss of a job. Still others don’t know their rights, are confused about where the lines are drawn, or simply don’t know what to do.

The Insider Exclusive Investigative News team discovered that that physician assistants and nurses…. mostly women…. rarely reported incidents of sexual harassment or retaliation to their supervisors. The greater the nurse’s and medical staff’s distress, the less likely she is to report an incident. Sexual harassment and retaliation against those who report it, is extremely costly in terms of both human dignity and human resources.

Fortunately, the laws to protect nurses and physician assistants from sexual harassment and retaliation are already on the books. Compliance, sound institutional policy, and nurses fully understanding their legal rights continue to be problems.

What is clear…. is that sexual harassment and retaliation is against the law.

Since 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has prohibited discrimination in employment conditions because of an individual’s sex. In 1976, it was acknowledged that Title VII also prohibits sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination.

Unlawful hostile environment harassment may occur even where there has been no tangible job detriment, but where sexually harassing conduct is so severe or pervasive that it alters an employee’s working conditions. Nurses Associations strive to eliminate sexual harassment for nurses in all work settings. First and foremost, they recommend that preventive measures be established.

Today the INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “Goes Behind The Headlines” in Work Harassment – Ani Chopourian’s Story”….. to examine how Lawrance Bohm, Founder The Bohm Law successfully won a landmark $168 Million dollar verdict for his client Ani Chopourian against Catholic Healthcare West d.b.a. Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California.

The jury unanimously decided Ani Choupourian was subject to a hostile work environment, retaliation for protected workplace complaints, defamation and intentional interference with economic advantage. A court awarded this staggering payout to her after co-workers allegedly repeatedly slapped her behind and pulled her into their laps.

Ani had filed approximately 18 complaints with the human resources department at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California, But the hospital failed to investigate the reports and even denied receiving the complaints. And, as a result of reporting the hospital’s “dirty laundry”, the hospital harassed Ms. Chopourian and subjected her to unwarranted accusations and discipline, and eventually terminated her.

A federal court jury found the hospital and its owner, Catholic Healthcare West, liable for $125million in damages. They also added $42.7million in compensation for lost wages and mental anguish suffered by the Ani. Ani speculated that hospital administrators put up with misbehavior in the cardiac unit and tolerated the surgeons’ outsize egos because cardiac surgery tends to bring in the most money for any hospital facility.

Lawrance Bohm has earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers in Sacramento, in California and across the United States . His goals….. Not ONLY To get Justice for his clients…but to make sure that everyone is treated with equal respect and dignity as guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.

He has built a substantial reputation by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down.
His amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.

You can contact Lawrance Bohm @ The Bohm Law Group 916-927-5574