A children's psychiatrist sued USC Wednesday morning, claiming the university's Keck School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles forced him to resign after taking a medical leave of absence.
The psychiatrist, Dr. Alan Hanft, claims his immediate supervisor invasively inquired about his illness and harassed and mistreated him. According to the filed civil complaint, Hanft took a medical leave of absence, returned briefly, and then took an extended leave of absence per his doctor's request. When returning to the office to fill out forms regarding his medical leave, Hanft allegedly discovered documents aimed to terminate his position by documenting his performance deficiencies and need for medical leave. Hanft returned to work on the arranged day to find that he had not been medically cleared to return and was under investigation for making co-workers feel unsafe. Hanft resigned soon after. The allegations involved in the suit include disability discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and failure to prevent harassment and defamation.
Hanft is a triple-board certified psychiatrist. According to his attorney John Winer, Hanft does not have a "traditional psychotherapy position. He sees some of the sickest kids in the world and their parents and provides them support and care." Winer described Hanft as "a very gentle man" and "a wonderful doctor when he is able to work and do what he needs to do."
We reached out to USC's Keck School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, and Dr. Hanft's supervisor in question and have not received comment.