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Northborough woman alleges sexual harassment by MetroWest doctor

Posted by Tom Coakley  September 23, 2011 03:21 PM

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A Northborough woman has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination alleging that she was sexually harassed by a doctor while the two worked at a physicians practice affiliated with MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.

Lorri Craig says in an affidavit acompanying the complaint that Dr. Kiran Raju made explicit sexual comments in the office where she was working for MetroWest Physician Services and in two February phone calls. Craig said the practice’s office manager Mary McCarthy also participated in one phone call, making vulgar remarks about the kind of sex Craig, the mother of 10, might be having.

Included as an exhibit with the complaint is what Craig describes as a copy of an e-mail from McCarthy in which she apologizes for the conversation.

Craig, who worked for the physicians practice from November to May, also charges that Scott Disch, director of MetroWest Physician Services, denied her an office manager’s job for which she had been hired in order to retaliate against her for her complaints about the actions of Raju and McCarthy.

Craig says she told Disch about the alleged harassment as well the Human Resources Department at the MetroWest Medical Center.

Barbara Green, a spokeswoman for the commission, confirmed that the complaint has been filed but would not discuss specifics. She said the commission was waiting for responses to the allegations.

Both the physicians practice and the medical center are owned by Vanguard Health Systems.

"We understand the allegations of the complaint that has been filed, and we are conducting an internal investigation,'' said Vanguard spokesman Dennis Irish. "We look forward to the results of the MCAD investigation and will take whatever action may be appropriate at that time."

Disch had no comment on the allegations. "HR will probably be commenting at a further point, within a week,'' he said.

Attempts to reach Raju and McCarthy were unsuccessful.

Craig says she also reported her allegations to Timothy Sullivan, the hospital’s compliance officer, who is charged with looking into such complaints.

Sullivan said he did not want to comment on the case because he had not read the complaint.

Craig says she resigned from the job at the practice because continuing to work there would have been "intolerable.''

“The conduct of Dr. Raju and Ms. McCarthy was inappropriate and vulgar and left me feeling embarrassed and humiliated,’’ Craig says in her affidavit. “I reported the conduct simply because I wanted it to stop so that I could continue peacefully in my employment. Instead I was shunned and ignored.’’


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