A former employee at a Yorktown clinic is suing a gynecologist for making sexual advances and creating a hostile work environment, according to a lawsuit filed on February 20 in U.S. District Court in White Plains. Both parties are women.
Janine Mancuso, who worked as an office manager at the Westchester Health Associates' Yorktown office for less than a year, accused Dr. Susan Malley of sexual harassment that included hugging her, kissing her cheek, rubbing her arm for extended periods of time and asking her out to dinner and "girls' night out."
Mancuso, who worked at the gynecologist's office from September 2011 to August 2012, claims Malley made "unwanted, unsolicited and offensive" sexual advances to her by telling her she had a nice body, hair, makeup and that she was beautiful, according to the lawsuit.
"You're the best looking manager," Malley reportedly told Mancuso, who identifies herself as heterosexual.
In the suit, Mancuso said she complained to administrators at Westchester Health Associates who told her they dealt with the situation. Shortly after that, Malley stopped touching and kissing her, the lawsuit said.
But one weekend, Malley entered Mancuso's office and smashed a picture of her, the lawsuit claims.
The 13-page lawsuit also alleges Malley talked down to Mancuso, told her subordinates to ignore her and questioned her hiring decision for not interviewing "pretty applicants."
Mancuso was placed on short term disability caused by harassment and walked out of the office in Aug. 10, 2012, according to the suit.
The lawsuit claims she found the sexual advances to be "repulsive, disgusting, insulting, disrespectful, degrading, unprofessional, unwelcome, demeaning, embarrassing, anxiety producing, intimidating, uncomfortable, humiliating, severely intrusive and physically threatening."
In addition, Mancuso alleges in the lawsuit that Malley would routinely criticize the nurses at her office, called a receptionist "dumb," had referred to a staff member as "white trash," would criticize the staff's attire, rejected a job applicant because she thought she was "ugly" and criticized another female job applicant's teeth.
The gynecologist's behavior also included mocking patients and talking about them behind their backs, the lawsuit claims. For example, the suit alleges Malley discussed how a patient complained about painful sexual intercourse, according to the lawsuit. She also made light of a teenage patient who had a tattoo on her genitalia and another one who had reconstructive surgery.
Malley writes on her website that she lives in Ridgefield, CT, and that she is a married woman and mother to three children.
"Quite recently I left my position, discovering after several years that I was not following my own advice about finding a good fit for oneself in all things," Malley wrote.