CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) – A registered nurse claims in Federal Court that a Long Island hospital fired her for complaining about a co-worker who sexually harassed and raped her.
The 29-year-old nurse, P., claims that Brian Petit started sexually harassing her shortly after St. Catherine of Sienna Medical Center hired her on Aug. 8, 2008.
“The harassment escalated in or about October 2010, when Mr. Petit vandalized plaintiff’s car and slashed plaintiff’s tires while her car was parked in St. Catherine’s parking lot,” the complaint states.
“Subsequent to these events, plaintiff complained to several representatives employed by St. Catherine, including, but not limited to [five names] … and the Human Resources Department and requested Mr. Petit be terminated. Upon information and belief, no remedial action was taken as a result of plaintiff’s complaints, and Mr. Petit was merely suspended for one (1) day.”
None of the employees whom she approached is listed as a defendant.
P. claims Petit raped her on Nov. 28, 2010, about a month after he slashed her tires.
“At 11 p.m. that evening, plaintiff walked into the parking lot area during her break and found Mr. Petit waiting for her,” the complaint states. “Mr. Petit had ended his shift and drunkenly began to harass plaintiff in St. Catherine’s parking lot. Upon information and belief, this action was recorded by St. Catherine’s security system …
“At the conclusion of plaintiff’s shift, plaintiff attempted to drive to the police station and ask for assistance, fearing for her safety;
“Mr. Petit followed plaintiff in his car and ran plaintiff’s car off the road on Smithtown Boulevard;
“Mr. Petit proceeded to attack plaintiff by removing her keys from the ignition, take her cell phone, and physically assaulting her by dragging her out of the car and taking her to his house in the immediate vicinity;
“Mr. Petit then raped plaintiff in the living room of his house.
“Plaintiff filed a criminal complaint against Mr. Petit. Mr. Petit was arrested, pleaded guilty for his offense and served four (4) months in jail,” the complaint states. It does not specify to what offense pleaded guilty.
P. claims that when she returned to work after the alleged rape, she was “advised by numerous employees of St. Catherine that plaintiff’s supervisors were ‘watching her’ and were looking for reasons to terminate her.”
She says she was fired in early January 2011 on the pretext that she had violated St. Catherine’s patient safety policy, but actually in retaliation for complaining about discrimination.
She seeks compensatory and punitive damages for hostile work environment, discrimination and retaliation under state and federal law.
She is represented by Saul Zabell of Bohemia, N.Y.