Saturday, 27 July 2013 00:00
A long-practicing Plainview podiatrist, Dr. Henry Balboa, is accused of sexually harassing a former medical assistant almost 50 years his junior and of illegally firing her after she rejected his advances, according to a complaint filed with the New York State Division of Human Rights.
Katie Chaput, 22, of Levittown, made the charges in a complaint filed June 28 by her lawyers, Leeds Brown Law LLC, against Balboa, 70, whose medical office is at 100 Manetto Hill Rd.
In her complaint, Chaput claims that Balboa invited her to dinner earlier on March 1 at Deco 1600 at the Race Place in Plainview to discuss a raise and then inappropriately touched her and propositioned her sexually for money. After she declined, according to the complaint, Balboa forcibly kissed her and told the young woman that she was beautiful, that he loved staring at her body at work and that he was in love with her. She left the restaurant - no criminal charges were filed.
Following the restaurant incident, Chaput claimed that Balboa began to more closely scrutinize her work, criticized her work and screamed at her in the presence of other employees and patients. He also threatened to rape her, according to complaint.
She then complained about the doctor’s conduct to his office manager, and subsequently was fired. The New York State Human Rights Law prohibits the firing or disciplining of an employee for making complaints of sexual harassment.
Since losing her job, according to the complaint, Chaput has been unable to find new work as a medical assistant, in that she believes that potential employers obtained only negative references from Balboa’s office.
Balboa, according to RateMDs.com, received his podiatric medicine degree in 1968 from New York College of Podiatric Medicine. He is affiliated with Syosset Hospital, Forest Hills Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital, according to the United Healthcare ‘s online provider directory.
“We believe that Dr. Balboa violated the New York State Human Rights Law twice through his alleged repeated behavior and by the firing of Ms. Chaput,” one of the young woman’s lawyers, Leeds Brown partner Jeffrey K. Brown, said.
“We also believe Dr. Balboa’s alleged sexual harassment of Ms. Chaput created a hostile work environment, which altered her ability to perform her job,” Len Leeds, also a Leeds Brown partner, said.