Lawsuit claims Illinois dentist fired assistant for denying sexual advances

A former dental assistant is suing the dentist and owner of Swansea, Ill.-based Emerald Terrace Dental after he allegedly made racist remarks and propositioned her for sex, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 22, La'Tishia Bentley alleges Yun Sup Kim, DDS, violated the Illinois Human Rights Act by discriminating against and sexually harassing her, creating a hostile work environment, and retaliating against her when she denied his advances.

After Ms. Bentley was hired April 9, she fell ill at work April 30. Dr. Kim insisted on taking her to CVS to get her blood pressure medication, the complaint reads, and pulled his car up, telling Ms. Bentley, "You have to sit in the back where the rest of the blacks sit." The lawsuit claims Dr. Kim made multiple racist jokes during Ms. Bentley's time at the practice.

On June 5, the dentist allegedly offered to buy Ms. Bentley a home if she would have sex with him once a week, according to the complaint. Ms. Bentley refused, and Dr. Kim repeatedly called her three days later, the lawsuit claims, asking why she wouldn't accept his offer. Dr. Kim repeated the offer June 10, the lawsuit says, and when Ms. Bentley refused again, he became angry and fired her the next day.

Dr. Kim was indicted in August on 13 counts of wire and healthcare fraud for allegedly falsifying bills to Medicaid for procedures he never performed, collecting over $700,000. The case is scheduled for court Dec. 12, 2020.

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