Fired Las Vegas Hotel Worker Sues for Pregnancy Discrimination, Wages
(LAS VEGAS) — Melodee Megia, a former employee at The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, claims she was told she was fired from her job for saying “bye bye” on the telephone instead of “goodbye” while eight-months pregnant.
She has filed a lawsuit against the hotel for pregnancy discrimination and a class-action suit for workers’ wages, saying employees were not paid for the time they had to wait for and change into their uniforms on a daily basis.
Megia worked at the hotel from November 2010 until September 2011, when she said she was fired “based on her pregnancy,” according to court papers filed with the Clark County District Court in Nevada last week.
Megia was a “room service sales” employee answering the telephone when hotel guests called for room service, and occasionally assisting in room delivery, her lawyers said.
She is represented by labor attorneys Mark Thierman and Jason Kuller.
Thierman said “she was denigrated verbally and was mistreated because of her pregnancy,” while having a “behind-the-scenes” job at the hotel.
Amy Rossetti, public relations director of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, said in a statement, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation.”
In March 2011, according to the lawsuit, Megia was asked to deliver a “pleasure packet” of condoms to a hotel customer, when Megia’s supervisor said, “Isn’t it too late for that? You should have thought about it before getting knocked up.”
“From that point forward, the director of room service frequently gave [Megia] dirty looks or shook his head disapprovingly,” the suit said.
On Sept. 16, 2011, when she was eight months pregnant, the “stated reason for [her] termination was that she said ‘bye bye’ instead of ‘good bye’ on the telephone to a room service customer,” according to the suit.
“In fact, this was merely a pretext as [Megia] had been subject to harassing conduct and other pretextual discipline leading up to her termination since the time her pregnancy was learned by [the hotel],” the suit added.
In the same filing to sue the hotel for unspecified damages for pregnancy discrimination, Megia also made class-action allegations for unpaid wages on behalf of the hotel’s employees.
Workers were not permitted to wear their uniforms outside work and had to pick up and drop off their uniforms before and after their shifts, often leading to additional overtime for which they were not paid, the suit claimed.
The suit said employees also had to change into their uniforms on-site in an area away from where they clocked in and out for the day.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio