In the Courts: Resident’s Alleged Harassment of CNA Was Severe, Pervasive Enough for Hostile Work Environment Claim to Proceed

September 7, 2018 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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In a case in which a former certified nursing assistant (CNA) alleged that a resident had repeatedly harassed her, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has found that issues of fact remained, necessitating trial by a jury. In so ruling, the appellate court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the facility.

Before coming to work at the facility, the CNA had worked for other facilities and for home care providers; she had experience working with individuals who were physically or sexually aggressive. At the defendant facility, she became responsible for the care of a resident who had a history of frequent violence and sexually inappropriate behavior toward residents and staff. The resident's many diagnoses included dementia, traumatic brain injury, and personality disorder with aggressive behavior. He behaved inappropriately toward the CNA on a daily basis, groping her and making frequent sexual requests and comments. She and other employees documented his behavior...

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