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Press Release 03-12-2024

Seattle Children’s Hospital to Pay $125,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Charge

EEOC Investigation Found Hospital Was Aware of Harassment and Failed to Act

SEATTLE – Seattle Children’s Hospital has agreed to pay $125,000 in compensatory damages and back pay to a former employee and provide other injunctive relief following an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. 

The EEOC’s investigation found evidence supporting a nurse’s allegations that she had been subjected to sexual harassment, including unwelcome sexual comments, and a sexually charged atmosphere at work over a three-month period. The investigation also revealed that despite notifying her employer, Seattle Children’s Hospital failed to act, allowing the harassment to persist and ultimately forcing her to resign. Such alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination, including harassment and sexual harassment, on the basis of sex.

Following the investigation, the parties engaged in the pre-litigation conciliation process which resulted in a settlement that required Seattle Children’s Hospital to pay monetary damages, revise its non-discrimination policies, conduct employee training, and provide additional training to managers and staff involved in the investigation of employee complaints of discrimination and harassment.

“Employers must protect workers from harassment and discrimination, even and especially when the persons doing the harassment are customers, patients, contractors, or other third parties,” said Elizabeth M. Cannon, director of the EEOC’s Seattle Field Office. “Having an effective complaint process and managers that are well trained on how to recognize and respond to complaints helps employers stay in compliance with the law, and more importantly, helps protect employees from harassment and discrimination. We applaud Seattle Children’s Hospital for participating in the conciliation process and collaborating with EEOC to bring about this resolution.”

For information about sexual harassment in the workplace, visit

The EEOC’s Seattle Field Office has jurisdiction over Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. 

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at  Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.