Pet hospital to pay $43K to settle sex harassment suit

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland veterinary services provider Hannah Pet Hospital will pay over $43,000 to a former pet nurse to settle a federal sexual harassment lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Hannah last fall on behalf of a nurse at Hannah’s Tigard clinic who said that she quit because a veterinarian sexually harassed her throughout her employment, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The federal agency said the veterinarian also used gendered pejoratives to address other employees and would say things like, “Shut up, woman,” and “Stupid woman.”

Although complaints were made, Hannah’s failed to take action and instead promoted him, the federal agency said.

Under the settlement terms, Hannah’s will pay $43,179 to the pet nurse for emotional distress and lost wages, will hire an outside expert to help make changes to workplace policies and internal complaint procedures and will train employees on the policies, the federal agency said.

Hannah Pet Hospital did not respond to a request for comment from the newspaper Wednesday.

The Oregon Department of Justice also launched an investigation into the company, previously known as Hannah the Pet Society, in 2016 after receiving complaints that it failed to provide pets with proper care, among other things. Hannah reached a settlement with the state in 2018, The Portland Tribune reported.