Blogs » Demographics & Dockets » Woman files lawsuit against University of Houston, claims school is hostile toward pregnant women and Arabs


A former University of Houston financial aid worker Najat Elsayed filed the federal discrimination earlier this week against the university over allegations that they were hostile toward pregnant women and Arabs.

The lawsuit contends top managers and co-workers berated and harassed her for becoming pregnant, were not accommodating when she returned to work and made disparaging remarks about Arabs.

Although UH President Renu Khator was allegedly made aware of the discrimination complaints, the hostile environment persisted.

The Houston Chronicle reports that when Elsayed told her immediate supervisor she was expecting a child, the woman's reply was "Sh-t!, Sh-t!, Sh-t!"

During a staff meeting in March 2009 the executive director of scholarships and financial aid, Sal Loria, supposedly said he was "disappointed" that his secretary was pregnant, adding that he would need her to take her laptop into the delivery room.

In December 2009, when Elsayed was two weeks late in delivery, she asked her supervisor if she could work from home until her baby was born, however, her request was denied, according to the lawsuit.

Management purportedly repeatedly and impatiently asked Elsayed's peers, “Has she had the baby yet?” and “What is she waiting on?".

When Elsayed returned to work and asked if she could pump breast milk in a private location, they designated an office in another building and "reacted violently" to amount of time she took, according to the lawsuit.

The suit also alleged disparaging comments about Arabs were made in Elsayed’s presence including, "All of them are smelly and abusive to their woman."

Elsayed was fired from the university in June 2010.