Two Long Island dental office employees and a third employee from Queens on Wednesday filed suit against a dentist for alleged sexual harassment.
The women said in the lawsuit that Dr. Charles Hertzog harassed them at three National Dental locations on Long Island.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, also alleges that executives at National Dental, a local chain of dental offices, lowered one of the plaintiff's compensation in retaliation for her complaints.
Hertzog was with National Dental for six months before he was terminated in March 2018, according to the suit.
Nadia Pervez of Pervez & Rehman, the Melville law firm representing Hicksville-based National Dental, said in an email Wednesday, "We intend to vigorously defend the allegations and offer no further comment."
Hertzog didn’t return calls seeking comment. He is currently employed at Comfort Dental in Rocky Point, according to Comfort’s website and the lawsuit.
The suit also names Melville-based Prestige Employee Administrators, which helps National Dental with staffing and human resources issues. Prestige didn’t respond to a call seeking comment.
In the suit, the women, who worked in different National Dental locations on Long Island, said Hertzog routinely made crude sexual comments to them at work, and one alleges he groped her.
Plaintiffs Ashley Treanor, a dental hygienist from North Babylon who worked at the group’s East Meadow location, and dental assistants Michelle Chaffee, who worked in the Hicksville office, and Digna Valladares Contreras, who worked in Queens and Williston Park, each filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, their attorney, Bradley L. Gerstman, a founding partner at Gerstman Schwartz in Garden City, said in an interview. None still works for National Dental.
A fourth woman, Jenna Pannullo, in March filed a separate suit against Hertzog and National Dental in district court in Central Islip. The suit said Hertzog engaged in a pattern of verbal sexual harassment and also touched her inappropriately numerous times.
Pannullo, who worked in Hicksville, complained to supervisors and management, but "the company turned a blind eye to it," Jonathan A. Tand, a partner at Mineola-based Raiser & Kenniff, which represents Pannullo in the case, said in an interview.