Medical Biller Sues Former Employer for Unlawful Discrimination, Retaliation, Hostile Work Environment

SLR Management Services Inc., a New York corporation, is being sued by a former employee for allowing her supervisor to create a hostile work environment by making inappropriate comments, unwanted, physical contact, and allowing inappropriate conversation among coworkers. 

Saida Diaz began working for SLR in 2005 as a medical biller, according to the complaint. Diaz’s supervisor was Raul Aguilar beginning in 2006. Around that time, when another employee offered Aguilar a piece of gum, Aguilar responded, “I want [Diaz’s] gum from her mouth.” Diaz claims this made her uncomfortable.

The next year Aguilar asked Diaz for suggestions on “how to ‘spice up’ his marriage,” resulting in Diaz feeling uncomfortable again. Diaz believes a coworker at the time complained about Aguilar’s sexual harassment, according to the complaint.

Diaz claims Aguilar repeatedly approached her from behind and rubbed her shoulders; each time she would shake him off and demand he not touch her. He would often tell her to “[s]mile more” and not be so serious.

Employees would often eat lunch together with Aguilar, during which “employees often would share sexually explicit stories,” according to the complaint. Diaz claims Aguilar encouraged and took part in the inappropriate conversations.

Diaz claims that when she once texted Aguilar asking to speak with him, he wrote back, “CUM.” Diaz says she was disgusted. Later, when Aguilar asked Diaz if she wanted to be promoted, she responded that she would. He then told her that in order for that to happen she would have to stay late and work with him, “that’s the way you’ll show me that you want to get a promotion.”

When Diaz asked why Aguilar had not propositioned other employees in a similar manner, he responded by suggesting she could lose her job. Following the episode Diaz claims that Aguilar refused to speak with her and segregated her from other employees. In January 2017, Diaz claims she was terminated without being given a reason.

Diaz is represented by Alexander Cabeceiras of New York City, who brought the action in the Southern District of New York.

Image Source: Grant Source (Flickr)