Women & Men & Rude Behavior

In case you were wondering, it continues to be unlawful for employers to treat male employees more favorably than female employees when it comes to discipline for similar behavior.  In a recent case out of Florida, informal complaints were made about a female doctor’s “bedside manner.”  The doctor was described as being curt and rude on two occasions, but her behavior did not impact patient care.  Complaints were also made about a male doctor for angry outbursts, use of offensive or foul language directed at staff, and for threatening nurses.  The male doctor’s behavior did impact patient care, because nurses were afraid to call him.  The female doctor was able to avoid summary judgment on her discrimination claim because the evidence showed that she was treated less favorably than the male doctor: she was terminated for her allegedly rude behavior while the male doctor received counseling, was sent to anger management class, and then received a 90 day termination notice after these attempts to fix his bad behavior failed.

The case is available by subscription: Scott v. Sarasota Doctors Hosp., Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150408 (M.D. Fla. 2015).

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