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Wichita State Withdrew Job Offer Over Pregnancy, Professor Claims

Wichita State University is being accused of withdrawing a job offer to an Ohio professor after she told university officials about her pregnancy and sought childcare options on campus.

Evangeline Heiliger, a 41-year-old visiting assistant professor of gender, sexuality and feminist studies at Oberlin College has sued the university for reversing the job offer one day after she informed a university official that she was pregnant, according to The Chronicle report.

In the lawsuit, Heiliger claims that during a phone call on March 15, 2018, she was offered a job as an assistant professor of women’s studies by Center for Women’s Studies director Chineyer Okafor, wherein she told her about the pregnancy.

When she wrote an email to department dean Ron Matson to express her excitement about starting the new job, he replied, “indicating that he had become aware that she was no longer available for the position and that they were removing her from consideration.”

“At no point during Dr. Heiliger’s conversation with Dr. Okafor did she ever indicate she was not available to accept the position. In fact, after she (Heiliger) received Dean Matson’s email, she responded to him indicating she was available and eager to begin the position, to which she never received a response,” the suit claims.

The lawsuit is seeking a jury hearing in the case and $75,000 in damages along with her attorney fees and court costs.

The University, meanwhile, has denied the allegations and claims that based on their own internal investigation, has found no merit in the complaint.

“The university remains committed to creating a fair and equitable workplace and does not discriminate in its employment practices,” general counsel David Moses told The Eagle.

“An administrative agency investigated the (Heiliger’s) claim prior to this lawsuit being filed and didn’t conclude that the university violated the law.”

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