Former New Jersey hospital employee claims she was fired for ending relationship with CEO

A former employee of Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, N.J., has filed a lawsuit against the facility and its CEO, alleging she was fired for breaking off her relationship with him, The Jersey Journal reported Oct. 25.

Serafima Isachenko, 30, filed the lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court.  

The lawsuit says Ms. Isachenko was an ultrasound technician at Hudson Regional Hospital for more than a year when she was fired in June "over an alleged incident involving an ultrasound," according to The Jersey Journal.

The lawsuit claims that other employees involved were not fired over the incident — the details of which were not disclosed — and that Ms. Isachenko was fired the same month she ended a seven-month relationship with Nizar Kifaieh, MD, president and CEO of Hudson Regional Hospital, according to the publication.

The lawsuit, which seeks various damages, also says Dr. Kifaieh, who is married with children, "persisted in commencing a sexual relationship" with Ms. Isachenko, and that Ms. Isachenko "was powerless to stop the harassment due to [the hospital's] failure to promulgate and enforce an effective anti-harassment policy," The Jersey Journal reported.

In a statement provided to Becker's, Hudson Regional acknowledged learning of the complaint.  

"We are disappointed that such action was taken as the hospital is proud of its efforts to provide a nurturing, supportive and safe environment for our staff. The hospital has retained outside counsel to conduct a comprehensive review of the allegations," the statement reads.

Hospital officials would not say if Dr. Kifaieh will remain in his position during the review, and declined to say whether there are policies at Hudson Regional related to office relationships, according to The Jersey Journal.

Read the full report here

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