Indian American Pushpal Harriott, the former director of finance for Dorchester County School District 4 in South Carolina, has sued the school district, its superintendent and a co-worker alleging discrimination.
Live5News reports that the case is going to the federal level.
In the lawsuit, Harriott claims DD4 “engaged in an intentional, and systematic policy, pattern, and/or practice of discrimination against [her],” according to the report.
It goes on to say the 36-year-old was “subject to a discriminatory hostile work environment based on her gender/sex, national origin, and race,” the media outlet notes.
She was first hired in July 2018 as the school district’s director of finance. After some issues with a co-worker, she claims she reported that co-worker’s actions to no avail to Dr. Morris Ravenel, the school district’s superintendent, the report said.
This co-worker’s “insubordinate and threatening behavior" caused Harriott “to believe she was in a hostile work environment,” the lawsuit claims.
In September 2018, Harroitt claims the superintendent told her she was being untruthful with him about a vendor and her handling of financial procedures within the district, it said.
Later that month, she was placed on administrative leave “pending a review and investigation into her conduct and performance,” the report added.
On Oct. 15, 2018, Harriott was demoted to the position of bookkeeper at St. George Middle School for the remainder of her contract.
In the lawsuit, Harriott claims the district provided “better treatment to [her] non-Indian and male colleagues," according to the report.
She later claims the superintendent and the co-worker’s “conduct was so extreme and outrageous as to exceed all possible bounds of decency and must be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.” She adds their actions have also caused “severe emotional distress,” it said.
The district and those named denied all accusations in their “answer of all defendants” response to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Charleston Division, the Live5News report said.