The history of sexual harassment in America
A former employee of an Overland Park sports medicine clinic is suing the company that manages it, saying she was repeatedly sexually harassed by a surgeon, according to court documents.
According to the suit, a former medical assistant at the Kansas City Spine and Sports Medicine Center in Overland Park complained to management multiple times that Glenn Amundson, a surgeon at the practice and defendant in the case, regularly made sexual comments and touched her in a sexual manner in the office and in front of other employees, including management.
Amundson declined to comment when contacted by The Star Saturday. On Monday, the Kansas City Spine and Sports Medicine Center said Amundson is no longer with the company.
The lawsuit, which was filed April 23, says Amundson pulled the medical assistant’s hair, picked her up, and touched her buttocks, waist and hips while she was working.
No action was taken by management after multiple complaints, the suit says.
The Star generally does not identify victims of sexual abuse without their permission.
Later, the woman additionally reported that Amundson grabbed her by the hips and pressed his groin into her buttocks. After the woman reported this, a management employee witnessed another sexually offensive incident and reported the situation to human resources, the suit says.
The suit says other women in the office have filed complaints about sexually offensive comments and touching by Amundson.
However, when the medical assistant spoke to human resources, the department determined that she should transfer out of the office. The woman suggested that Amundson leave instead.
Human resources pushed forward on plans to transfer the woman despite her protests that she loved her job and worked well with other doctors in the office, according to the suit.
The suit says HCA intentionally made working conditions for the woman “so intolerable that no reasonable person … would have continued working in the center.”
As a result, she was “constructively discharged” and no longer works for the company. It is unclear in the suit exactly what “discharged” means and whether the woman left the company voluntarily.
Nikki Slater, a spokeswoman for the Spine and Sports Medicine Center, on Monday provided a statement that read: “We take employee complaints seriously and are committed to providing a safe and productive environment for all of our colleagues. We encourage colleagues to bring forward any complaints and have a process in place to investigate concerns and take action to prevent discrimination, retaliation and harassment.”
Amundson remains licensed to practice in Kansas and Missouri, with no discipline on his license in either state.
The Spine and Sports Medicine Center is affiliated with the Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park. The hospital is an HCA Midwest Health hospital.
HCA Healthcare, Menorah Medical Group, HCA Midwest, HCA Human Resources and Glenn Amundson are all listed as defendants in the case, which claims sexual discrimination, retaliation and battery.
Star reporter Andy Marso contributed to this story.