A nurse from North Carolina recently sued her former boss, Dr. Jon Thompson, a well-known surgeon at Wilkes Medical Center, after he allegedly demanded that she have sex with him for two hours once a month. Talk about an indecent proposal. The doctor threatened to reveal her relationship with a third-party, thus ruining her marriage if she didn’t comply with his request. Fortunately, the nurse refused to give in to his demands.
A Toxic Relationship
According to the lawsuit filed in court, Thompson’s proposal came out of nowhere. The two had been working together for four years when he made his illicit request. The nurse says they had become platonic friends and professional colleagues, often socializing with each other’s families. Thompson had even performed several surgeries on the nurse, who remains anonymous for privacy reasons.
However, the nature of their relationship changed in mid-May. The nurse claims the doctor started complaining about his marital problems at work and said he knew the nurse was going through a similar situation with her husband at home. The doctor went on to say he found the nurse attractive and that he wanted to start a relationship outside of work. Thompson then asked the nurse if his comments made her uncomfortable. When she said yes, he apologized.
A month later on June 11th, the doctor asked the nurse to meet with him in his pick-up truck. That’s when he asked her to engage in an extramarital affair by having sex with him for two hours once a month for one full year. If the nurse didn’t comply, he said he would expose her relationship with a third party, threatening her personal life and professional reputation.
According to the lawsuit, Thompson made it seem as if he had advanced spying equipment to listen in on her private conversations. He said he would make sure the nurse’s family and husband received tapes of her highly personal relationship with another individual. He even suggested they drive to his house right then for some “physical alone time.”
The nurse said she needed more time to think about it. That gave her enough time to take action against the doctor.
Three days later, Thompson met with his supervisors at Wake Forest Baptist Health, which owns the Wilkes Medical Center. His bosses were aware of the indecent proposal. Thompson quickly discovered that the nurse had reported his sexual advances to his superiors two days prior.
Thompson was then fired after he confirmed the nurse’s allegations were true.
The official complaint filed in court accuses Thompson of violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, invasion of privacy, civil sexual assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
It says Thompson’s behavior was “predatory and intended to sexually exploit and abuse her, and to place her in fear for her personal well-being and safety.”
The doctor could not be reached for comment. However, the Wake Forest Baptist Health issued a statement after the story was announced. “Wake Forest Baptist Health is proud to have (the plaintiff) as one of our dedicated nurse practitioners.” It goes on to say that “Dr. Thompson’s employment with Wake Forest Baptist Health ended on June 18, 2021.”
Sexual Harassment on the Job
These types of incidents are becoming more common in the workplace. The North Carolina Medical Board says it received five complaints in 2018, 38 in 2019, and 42 in 2020, a troubling trend for patients and providers.
Several lawsuits from 2018 show how Jonathan Christenbury, a now-deceased eye surgeon in Charlotte, hired female exotic dancers and attractive women to work at his office. He went on to sexually harass and assault them for years, according to the lawsuit.
That same year, Dr. Fidelis Edomsowan was found guilty of groping two women during routine medical exams. Police say dozens of his alleged victims came forward with their own experiences. His criminal trial is still pending.
In March, federal lawsuits detail how Dr. Justin Farmer sexually harassed and groped several female nurses and a doctor at the Cabarrus County medical facility. This led to a near all-out brawl between the accused doctor and one of the nurse’s husbands.
No one should have to worry about awkward sexual advances when they’re trying to save lives. If someone sexually harasses or assaults you on the job, report it to your supervisor or another senior official immediately.