Las Vegas worker Melodee Megia, 38, is suing The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino after she was fired for saying “bye bye” to a customer. Megia said the Las Vegas resort let her go when she was eight months pregnant.
She had worked at the hotel from November 2010 until she was fired in September 2011. For most of that time Megia said she was subjected to ridicule from her supervisor for becoming pregnant.
In court documents filed last week in the Las Vegas’s Clark County District Court, Megia describes her job as mostly a behind-the-scenes job of answering phone calls from hotel guests wanting to have food or other items sent to their room, Megia also on occasion would have to deliver the items to guest rooms.
Megia’s attorney Mark Thierman cited several occasions were his client was verbally abused by her supervisor after it was learned she was pregnant. She said the first incident occurred when the supervisor saw her carrying a ‘pleasure packet’ which contained condoms to a guest who requested it. The unnamed supervisor made the remark, “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.
The suit adds on another occasion, the supervisor asked, “‘So when are you having that?’ in reference to [Megia’s] pregnant stomach,” and on another occasion, he told a co-worker as Megia began her shift, “That is what happens when you have sex.”
Then during her eight month of pregnancy Megia said she was fired because during a call with a hotel guest, she unprofessionally said “bye bye” instead of “goodbye” before hanging the phone up. But she believes the real reason for being fired was because she was pregnant, and her supervisor didn’t like it.
Thierman said “she was denigrated verbally and was mistreated because of her pregnancy.”
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.”
Meiga also claims the hotel had a policy of its employees not being allowed to wear their uniforms when off the clock, so they had to arrive early and leave late to change in and out of the uniforms which they were not paid overtime for, and the hotel would always round-out hours in favor of the company.
“Nevada is a very tough state for service employees. It’s the Wild West. Coming from California originally, it was shocking for me,” Thierman said. “Many, if not most, people here work on minimum wage plus tips. Some of the abuses are pretty flagrant.”
“Service workers are not protected,” Thierman said. “Nevada has a misconception that ‘right to work’ means ‘right to abuse,’ when it really means workers don’t have to join a union.”
“These are true blue collar workers whom labor laws were designed to protect,” he said. “These were workers who worked physically hard as opposed to working at a desk. I think they deserve as much protection as they can get.”