The alleged assault occurred for seven months despite Sarah Ryan’s employer, Medical Facilities of America (MFA), and the HR department, being told of what was happening numerous times, Ryan alleges in an Aug. 7 complaint.
Ryan has been working for MFA since 2012, but the trouble began when she started working for Christopher Acorn in 2015, the complaint alleges. Acorn started harassing Ryan in September last year, including stroking her hair, caressing her face and arms and massaging her neck, shoulders and back.
Ryan first told the human resources manager at the time, Frank Hemphill, in September of last year about Acorn. Hemphill then forwarded a report to his supervisor, Bernadette Levy, who is the HR supervisor for the region, the complaint alleges.
Levy told Hemphill to “keep an eye” on Acorn and to “make sure he doesn’t get himself into trouble,” according to the complaint. By March this year, Acorn’s harassment was happening almost daily, the complaint notes.
That month when a new human resources director, Dana Cole, took over for Hemphill after he left the company, Cole witnessed Acorn touching Ryan in her office, but did nothing to stop it, the complaint alleges. Only seven months after Ryan’s initial complaint did MFA confirm it would investigate.
Ryan still works at MFA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gave the green light for Ryan’s case to be filed as a lawsuit May 11, Ryan’s lawyer Todd Sartwell says. MFA declined to comment.