Sahara Hotel & Casino to Pay $85K to Egyptian Former Worker

December 7, 2010 ( - The former and current owners of the Sahara Hotel & Casino, on the Las Vegas strip, will pay a total of $100,000 and furnish other relief to settle a national origin harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The EEOC alleged that the Sahara ‘s supervisors and coworkers continuously belittled and harassed Ezzat Elias, whose job entailed maintaining and delivering food to the hotel buffet, because of his Egyptian heritage. The alleged harassers openly and continually subjected Elias to derogatory comments and often referred to him as “Bin Laden.” Elias also endured graffiti in the men’s locker room and elsewhere.  

According to an EEOC press release, despite Elias’s repeated complaints of such harassment, the agency found that the Sahara’s management failed to take effective measures to stop it, and retaliated against him shortly after his initial complaint by increasing his workload, subjecting him to closer scrutiny, formally disciplining and ultimately suspending him.  

The parties entered into a three-year consent decree which requires the Sahara’s former and current owners to collectively pay $85,000 in monetary relief to Elias. The hotel’s current owner will also pay an additional $15,000 to the Nevada Equal Rights Commission (NERC), the state entity charged with enforcing Nevada’s anti-discrimination laws, for the purposes of education and outreach to the public on anti-discrimination issues, the announcement said.