A doctor has sued the Aga Khan Hospital for allegedly sacking her after she protested against sexual harassment at the workplace by a senior colleague.
Through lawyer Ong’aya Ombo, the doctor who is seeking Sh41 million in compensation, claimed that the hospital management mistreated her by firing her on September 8, when she first reported the matter.
She is seeking Sh15.6 million as compensation for underpayment for the duration she served at the hospital, Sh15.2 million for unpaid overtime hours, Sh6.6 million for unfair termination of her contract, Sh1.6 million for unremitted pension and other claims totaling Sh41 million.
“We are asking the court to order Aga Khan Hospital to compensate for exposing the doctor to an environment that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by the said staff with the management’s full knowledge based on previous sex scandals involving the senior staff,” said the advocate.
The doctor who joined the institution in September 2019 said that by virtue of their close working relations opened the door for her supervisor to sexually molest her.
Court documents show that the senior officer started organizing meetings with the doctor at odd hours of the day.
“Since he was her supervisor, he would call her to his office under the pretext of querying on assigned duties before 7am or after 4.30pm when there was less traffic in his office for the sole purpose of sexually harassing her,” said Ombo.
During such meetings, the medic claimed, her colleague asked her about her husband and went further to making inappropriate phone calls and texts.
On one such occasion, the doctor recalled, the senior supervisor touched her inappropriately and when she protested, he pretended that the touches were “accidental”.
The doctor then reported the sexual harassment to the top management who instead of taking action against the senior officer, assigned her a new supervisor.
“When higher ranking staff learnt that the doctor would not be reporting to him, he started targeting her using proxies. He made it clear that he would frustrate the female doctor and boasted that he was a very senior person with influence at the hospital management and board of directors,” said Ombo.
In September 2020, the doctor told the court that she went into isolation due to Covid-19 but upon her return, the senior supervisor accused her of skipping work.
He apparently wrote to the management to initiate disciplinary action against the complainant.
The false accusations continued until July this year when she was forced to write a resignation letter which eventually led to her dismissal in September.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court gave the hospital and the senior supervisor 21 days to respond to the suit.