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Fired for Bye Bye: Hotel Employee Claims Pregnancy Discrimination

Former sales associate states she was constantly harassed

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Fired for Bye Bye: Hotel Employee Claims Pregnancy Discrimination
[ Life]

Fired for bye bye? Not hardly claims former Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino employee Melodee Megia, who states that the company terminated her for being pregnant. The hotel’s reasoning: Instead of saying “goodbye” to one of the guests over the phone, she said “bye bye”. Given that they’re an upscale, four-star hotel in Las Vegas, is this sort of verbal slippage grounds for termination? Her attorneys don’t seem to think so.

Megia, a sales associate whose duties included answering the phone for guests requesting room service, claims that, contrary to what her former employer states, she was fired for being pregnant. In fact, she was harassed and ridiculed endlessly during her employment with the company, which ran from November 2010 until August 2011. In addition to answer phones, Megia was occasionally asked to deliver items to rooms.

According to attorneys Mark Thierman and Jason Kuller, Megia was “denigrated verbally and was mistreated because of her pregnancy.” The lawsuit states that her manager frequently made derogatory comments about her pregnancy in front of other employees. Thierman states that none of this behavior took place until the hotel learned of her condition. In addition to the pregnancy discrimination, the hotel is facing a class-action lawsuit filed by Megia on behalf of several employees for unpaid wages.

“Service workers are not protected,” Thierman explained. “Nevada has a misconception that ‘right to work’ means ‘right to abuse,’ when it really means workers don’t have to join a union.”

The Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino, which opened its doors in 2010, has remained tight-lipped on the subject, stating that they simply do not comment on impending lawsuits.

Fired for Bye Bye: Hotel Employee Claims Pregnancy Discrimination
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  • http://yahoo chasity moore

    WOW

  • http://yahoo chasity moore

    Why would someone fire the woman for being pregnant that makes no sense what so ever, why would they do that? I mean it is ridiculous how crazy is that fireing a woman because, she is pregnant. Who does that she worked @ the hotel and they are going to fire her for being pregnant. Some people are just ridiculous. Some are just plain crazy, and others get so into what ever they are doing and they fire people for different stuff that was just uncalled for no one asked for that to happen it just did. Why would some one do that to almost a mother or maybe even a mother she had only one way to support her and her child and now she got fired from it.

    • c

      Because they have to give her maternity leave (by law) and they don’t want to. And you keep saying “who does that” It happens all the time in the real world.

    • Jim

      @ Chastity – - You apparently live on some other planet because on This Planet things like that, and even much worse, happen on a daily basis.

      They started harassing her when they became aware that she was pregnant in an attempt to cause her to ‘Quit’ on her own. When that was unsuccessful, they had to go to plan B, which consisted of firing her on whatever trumped up excuse they felt they could get away with.

      As an ‘Up-Scale’ establishment, the management didn’t want a big bellied woman waddling around. I would bet that all their female employees (that have contact with customers) are slim & pretty or they don’t get hired in the first place.

      • Seraiah

        so youre saying that fat people cant be pretty too? thats alittle rude…

        • Brett

          no big fat people are not pretty at all they are fat and gross. PREGNANT women are beautiful they have a living being inside them… fat people are lazy disgusting pigs ..

        • Paul

          Yea I agree pregnant women are beautiful, fat people are just gross from being such gluttons!

      • erica

        a big bellied woman waddling around is what their mothers were when they were pregnant with them. There is all kinds of discrimination against pregnant women; how do the discriminators think they got here? Their mothers didn’t gain an ounce when they were pregnant? I remember Rick James on a talk show once saying how he dumped his women when they got pregnant because they looked “disgusting” and fat and lazy. So Rick, how did your mother look when she was pregnant with you?

        • T. Jensen

          No, he’s saying that the HOTEL has that attitude. He isn’t agreeing or disagreeing, just pointing out a fact, and he’s most likely spot-on. Please try to stay focused and keep your anger directed where it’s deserved, not at some poor guy who’s just making a statement. And you call him rude… take a look in the mirror, if you can do that without jumping to conclusions about what the mirror might think.

    • Anya

      are you being sarcastic?

      • ed

        Apparently so. If you are not unionized and have no one to speak on your behalf, you get a lawyer in this case. I guess the image thought of a raging hormones pregnant woman didn’t seat well with those at this fancy hotel/casino which is one of the many reasons I would rather go to a Native American casino. American business has gotten too stiff in the arse. We even make a big deal with breastfeeding with that so-called controversial current Time mag cover.

    • Seraiah

      this kind of thing happens every day in the USA, its not uncommon. however, that doesnt make it right. we are hearing about it because she was smart enough to file a lawsuit, most people dont go to that much trouble to get the money they feel they deserve.

  • Steve W.

    hm, so if she was released for “bye bye” then wow that place is stupid and if she was terminated for bein pregnant then wow that place is both stupid and waaaay outta line. this looks fairly one sided so far. hope she gets them for everything

    • Tim

      Commen practice in the hotel industry.

  • SteveA

    Sorry Steve W, but as a right to work state, you can be terminated at any time for any, or even no, reason whatsoever. Unless you have a contract that states otherwise, you have no legal standing to dispute it.

    • Tia

      You can only be terminated for something that does not violate state and federal law. I think Steve A’s point was not whether they can terminate but the stupidity behind the reason of termination. She can dispute a termination on the basis of violating law which is the essence of this article. Right to work does not trump law.

      • Ralph

        In right to word states, most of the time you have to sign a statement that you understand that it is a right to work state that you can be let go, or you can quit, for any or no reason.

    • TJB

      Not entirely true. If you are fired for discriminatory reasons (as codified and protected status by law, such as age and gender discrimination, etc.) then the termination is illegal.

    • Wendy

      That is absolutely false! “Right to Work” means that you can leave or an employer can terminate you at any time and for any reason, however, it does not mean that you have no legal recourse. Federal law trumps the right to work state policy in regards to discrimination, harrassment, etc. She absolutely can, and should, file a lawsuit to seek legal remedy!

      • Jennifer

        This is true! You actually sign something agreeing to this when you sign most handbooks at the start of employment.

        • Wendy

          You can not legally sign anything which violates your rights to protection under federal laws. Even if you do sign it, it is not legal and binding in a court of law. Employers have the right to terminate you, but that does not mean you cannot sue them if the reason was an illegal one!!!!

          • Russ

            Handbooks also state code of conduct and practices that employees are held to. These should apply to all employees. Harassment and uneven application of rules should not be allowed.

        • Tia

          You can’t have an agreement to break the law and that agreement be legally binding.

    • traves

      because people who work in upscale four star hotels think they can do whatever’whenever they want.there assholes who take there jobs way too seriously.

  • Bob

    Hmm, it would seem to me that no matter which “offense” they fired her for they were in the wrong. I would have thought they would understand that “bye-bye” adds a personal touch to the conversation end and thereby giving “warm fuzzies” to the other party. And being pregnant is no reason to fire her unless job requirements and being pregnant puts her or someone else in jeopardy (life). She just about has this one won.

  • http://yahoo princess

    Wow good bye or bye bye both have the same meaning, so it has to be the pregnancy which is silly ,if women dont carry the babies in the society then who else?????

  • Joe

    @ Steve A, You can NOT be fired for ANY reason in an ‘At Will’ or ‘Right to work’ state. You can be let go for no reason, but if you have documented treatment against you that implies you were being let go for your pregnancy, you can sue and you can win. You can not be fired because you are pregnant, you can not be fired if you’re discriminated against for age, sex, political affiliation and a host of other reasons. You can’t even be fired if you’re gay.

  • CG

    Thats funny, “An Upscale resort”, that’s Vegas speak for an overpriced Raddison. They are owned by Deutsche bank which should tell you they have the morals of a bankster. Not knowing anything personally about the case, I find hard to take the “upscale resorts”
    management story as the truth.Hope she gets her day in court and hope they conpensate her and her lawyer for all they put her through.

  • James

    New York is a will at work state and you could be fired. This is just a poor attempt to bash a work at will state that has an anti union stint.

    Todd Rigney is biased.

    • Wendy

      You really need to do your research. Your statements give away the fact that you have done no real research into the subject

  • poptop

    I hope she cleans their clock! There is no room for such silly abuse even in a state such as Nevada. This shows there really is a need for unions in today’s wporld to protect employees. Bye-bye.

  • tatters

    It affected me personally reading this story because I’m a woman. I wouldn’t put past them because of they’re stupidity. There’s a lot of stupid ignorant people in this world. Managers top the list. The hotel needs to be boycotted. This could have my sister, my friend, my daughter. We’re all connected somehow. This kind of abuse at work effects everyone and business’es that abuse employees should not supported. You have to hit them where it hurts, right in their pocket. That’s the only way they learn.

    • Carla

      Tatters,

      The grammar police should arrest you.

  • Tim

    It is a common practice for hotels to fire women when they are pregnant. There is a liability issue and an employee may seek unemployment after having the baby. I am a social worker and several hotels in our area fire women once they know they are pregnant. It would be interesting to know in this case how many pregnant women at that particular hotel have been fired.

  • Soren

    Wonder what they would have done had she farted into the phone?

  • bob loblaw

    To me this story reeks. It smells like bull. The woman seems to be a whiner who didn’t want to do her job, the boss was probably looking for an excuse for months to fire her for being lazy “had to occasionally run food”.

    • Seraiah

      her job wasnt as an “occasional food runner”, her job was to see to customer service to make their guests as comfortable as possible, in the process of performing her duties she occasionally had to be a food runner. that is not her primary title. in an upscale establishment people can usually afford to order room service, or request preferential treatment. i dont think its fair to call her lazy based on that one fact. maybe she was a poor worker, but just because she did menial work once in a while doesnt mean she was, perhaps she was filling in for someone who called in sick.

  • David B

    There is so much more to this story than what is being told I’m sure. I doubt they fired her for saying bye-bye, but I also doubt they fired her for being pregnant. She’s probably lazy as hell and walks around using her pregnancy as an excuse to be a slacker on the job, but they didn’t want to fire her for this because they knew the crazy bitch was going to try and say they fired her for being pregnant. So they come up with some dumb shit to fire her for legally. I’m sure if she would have been worth it, they would have kept her around. There is no doubt in my mind that she brought this on herself.

    • Wendy

      Wow! Someone seems bitter! If she was lazy and not doing her job, it would have been easier to terminate her by writing her up for poor job performance or not living up to expectations. Once they established a pattern of write-ups, she could have been let go legally with no recourse. My guess is you have had a bad experience and are lashing out without having all of the facts.

      • SG

        Wendy – seems to me like you need to get a job and a life! Going around telling everyone they’re making assumptions or need to do their research. Unless of course, you’re the lady that got fired. In that case….tough!

  • websandy

    Then there is the aspect of just being lucky to be outta there! Sometimes, if we’re not merciful to ourselves (and if we don’t leave of our own accord), then the Fates are merciful.

  • JIM

    It was 100% legal firing, open & shut.I have seen this time and time again and her suit will thrown out.

    • Wendy

      LOL….arrogant assumption. They will not throw her suit out if it has merit

  • Justice For

    @David B,

    You hate pregnant women,duh! Racist!!!

  • Danny Mac

    I was fired from a city job after 30years for calling my co-worker a crybaby. He was given a order to fix a meter leak left the citizen with a broken customer line and told him to get a plumber. I asked him about it on his return to work the following day and he filled out a sick slip and went home after 10 minutes on the job. I called him a crybaby as he was walking out. An investigation was started on his leaving work w/o authorization. Because of my time in service and knowing I was going to work another 10 years my hometown the City of Pomona fired me because I was a pension problem oh that and they considered me hostile violent and untruthful. Anything can happen now days at the work site for the American worker and we have know rights!

  • SG

    Oh please! I am so sick and tired of everyone suing their place of employment for discrimination. A person can get fired for just about anything. An owner of a company can fire you for looking at them sideways. Get over it, lady! Can’t a person ever leave a company with some dignity? Do what everyone else does in the real world; start posting your resume. Sounds to me like someone who wants a fast buck. I’m sure there is more to the story but we’re supposed to feel sorry for her. I don’t. No one should. You all have your own problems and if you lost your job, would you sue? No! I should hope you’re grown up enough to move on!

    • Perriann Williams

      I was fired after 3 years with Waffle House, in North Carolina. My boss was told by her boss to fire me because of a remark I made to him off the clock.NC is a right to fire state, if you poop improperly, they can fire you, and you have no recourse.

  • SG

    I’m also trying to figure out something here. She was “occassionally” asked to deliver items to rooms. So what? When you work for a hotel, as I had in the past, no matter what department you are in, you are in charge of taking care of your guests. I worked in corporate, but walking through the hallways I was asked about certain ameneties. It was my duty, at that point, to take care of that guest, myself, until someone could further assist that family. Sounds to me, like the lady is lazy and is trying to come up with excuses. She’s pregnant, not dying! She still needs to do her job and if she can’t, she either needed to file temporary FMLA so that she has a doctors note limiting what she can and cannot do, or she just needs to find a job elsewhere. Case closed. Why should companies put up with women who think they deserve special treatment over being pregnant? Companies still need to run as a business and if a person can’t perform their job duties anymore, as she just pretty much claimed she said herself, she had to “deliver” things to rooms (oh my!!), then the hotel had every right to fire her and try to hire someone who can perform their duties.

    • wyn

      SC….You need to actually READ the article instead of inventing your own storyline. The “occassionally delivered …to rooms” was simply a discription of her job tasks. She has made NO complaint concerning any of her job duties. Yet you have, on your own, decided that is is the basis for her suit, decided that this was due to her “laziness”, and declared that the hotel was therefore justified in firing her. You even suggested helpful alternatves (FMLA) that she could have chosen to her ‘lazy refusal’ to do her job. What? You have gone totally into another space and dimension with this. READ THE ARTICLE.

    • lkh

      thank you, i read that too. pregnant women have a way of making up excuses to get others to do their work, who cares if she had to deliver something to another room, if it was her job to do it, i can understand if it was heavy, i was in situations on job where i was expected to climb on rickety ladder in idk how many feet in air, next to low railing and pull boxes that i know were 80 lbs over my head, then put them back up, and i am a female, i was not pregnant, but i can tell you i didnt stay at that job long because it was an unreasonable request, and my safety comes first pregnant or not, but she sounds like she just wanted to eat sandwiches while others catered to her and did her job re delivering stuff to another room,

  • reta114

    I think it would be less emabarassing for the hotel to admit they fired her for being pregnant then for firing her for saying bye bye, how petty. They look foolish even if they can fire her for any reason.

  • RickR

    Yeah, umm…SteveA, you are a bit simplistic in your analysis and declarations. While an employer may, in theory, fire an at will employee at its ostensible discretion, to say that the employer may do so for no reason, and that the employee is then left with no legal recourse, is overstatement to the point of inaccuracy. An employer may fire an at will employee at its discretion, so long as the firing does not violate an existing state or federal/consititutional/civil rights law. In this instance, the employee is alleging the “bye bye” firng was a pretext for the real reason, her pregnancy, which would violate the Family Medical Leave Act, and possibly other state and federal protections.

  • http://annettespassion.vpweb.com Annette

    This is ridiculous. I worked at a call center and management kept calling me in the office because I was saying words like: “cool, honey, etc.” Mangament said I was connecting well with the customers but had to be more professional. I finally QUIT. If customer service is key then being “personable” is key! Last time I checked, customers likes personable service not stiff robitic phoneyness!

  • Marc

    I can understand the management wanting to maintain a professional image by requiring employees to use appropriate language, but these guys are hardly classy people.

    Never mind that this is Las Vegas. That wonderful, magical place where some of the finest people on earth come to waste a fortune while trying to gain one. And, where some of the biggest “Lowlifes” run this “So Called” industry. All at the expense of the poor fools who try to beat the odds, which are fixed by the house.

    To the owners of the Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino, let me be careful to say this correctly and succinctly. Bye-Bye and SCREW YOU!

    • wyn

      That is some FINE literature Marc : )
      My thoughts exactly.

  • Cristal

    My husband was fired in Kansas for stacking a pallet wrong, it just so happens he had just returned to work two weeks before after a work related injury, he lost the use of his right index finger. We did not sue but we did file for unemployment, after a denial we appealed and we won because the findings were “Unreasonable expectations by the employer”, though I suspect he was fired due to the injury. This said, I hope this woman wins, “bye bye” instead of “Good bye” is an unreasonable expectation and no reason to fire her, and if they really fired her for being pregnant then they are just wrong and should be punished for their actions.

  • rokr

    BE ADVISED! in some cases being preg also means u have a disability, and under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you CAN be fired if that disability is a “safety hazard” to urself and/or others. yes, she can sue, but NV and FL as “at will” states rarely lose!

    • Amanda

      The ADA does not recognize pregnancy as a disability. The employer merely has to accommodate any medical restriction within reason.

  • Jaren

    As a Human Resource personnel in CA for 8 years. She has everyright to sue her employeer if they indeed violated her rights ion reference to her company policy or Fed/ state law.It seems she was subjected to some kind of unwelcome sexual harassment/ descrimination or hostile env. and nothing was resported if that Hotel ever took her serious. It is the employer’s responsibility to exercise reasonable care to prevent and correct the behavior.

    • ben there

      Sure, she can sue for being discriminated against her gender (pregnant), but that doesn’t mean she will get anything. My wife was fired after 25 years with not even one blemish in her personell file, never late, nothing. She was Validictorian of her High School, BS degree, so she’s not an idiot. She was fired from a place in a “right to work” state where 12 out of 18 directors were over 40. ALL 12 directors over 40 were fired for no reason, 11 of them were replaced with younger – MOORMAN directors (all male). Sounds like we have a lawsuit right?? Well after 2 1/2 years we finally got a check for $6500. So go ahead and sue, good luck!

  • http://msn barry houck

    I hope she wins big maybe around 100 million. These place are getting so out of line with this crap. In a case like this the federal goverment should step in a say enough is enough, either hire her back or you will be fined. Pennsylvania has the right to fire law also, so they can fire you for no reason at all, this is a bunch of crap. They should be held responcable to provide a good documented reason

  • http://Yahoo.com dom mosqueda

    Them thugs and crook’s who own these lavish Hotels should not be allowed to demean and treat any employee’s with such deplorable acts like this ? They them selves should be fired and publicly humiliated for their awful and degrading deeds ? Melodee Don’t let theses idiots get away with this and stand your ground ? Make this go viral everywhere on the net Facebook Twitter and other social media sites.Please don’t back down go kick azz all over and hope people will listen and stand behind you like i do GOD Speed my friend and GOD bless always

  • MagicCyclops

    This will happen everywhere if Romney gets voted in. Right-to-work is crap.

  • jinia demers

    I was fired while on disability in tenn and lost a six figure imcome that i went to school for many years. Right to work is a lame excuse for employers to do what ever they want and get away with it

  • gina

    I think states use right to work as a lame excuse to get away with anything. I was fired while on disability over the phone in tenn and lost a job that i went to college for years to get and had done for years before getting ill

  • Amanda

    I think there is a huge misconception about at will work and right to work laws. Regardless of either of those laws a company can fire anyone if they are consistently violating rules and procedures as long as the company has documented incidents and use progressive discipline. If they do not document then with all likelihood they will lose any appeal with the unemployment proceedings. Now there are some exceptions, we have had to let people go who have became extremely violent or become threatening towards coworkers, the company, management, etc.

  • Amanda

    right to work means a non union employee can work in a union workplace wihtout having to join the union or pay dues. At will means they can fire you for any reason that doesn’t violate federal laws. HOWEVER, in some companies that are in at will states, they still follow a progressive discipline regiment because if we don’t, unemployment insurance will have to be paid. We are very stringent before firing someone.

  • tom

    Wow, so many lawyers!

  • mj

    Something just doesn’t sound right here. I would imagine we aren’t getting the real story here. I live in a right to work state, NC, and it is still difficult to fire someone. Plus in NC a handbook is not recognized as a legal contract, even when you sign a statement saying you have read & understand it. (NC is one of the few states that don’t recognize the company handbook as a legal contract) We have no way of knowing the whole story. But in today’s world, if one has a job, they should do everything possible to keep that job, as there are probably dozens lined up to do the job themselves.

  • ryon

    Well she was as a right to work date she more than likely was harassed or pressured to join the union. but it is her right not to. Many union workers that are paying union dues take it very personnel that someone would come in enjoy the same benefits that they had fought for but not pay union dues. Right to work means that you do not have to join a union or be part of the collective bargaining process but you are entitled to all benefits of any collective bargaining agreements. Her pregnancy was considered a slap in the face of most union personnel that felt that she was using a benefit that they had payed for in allowing her time of for doctor appointments and family medical leave. Corporate America has always looked after there employees and can allows be trusted. WE do not need unions the top 1% had been good to us and we should gravel more and complain less. Unions have outlived there usefulness and corporate America will always keep us safe and never outsource jobs THEY can be trusted down with unions and service personnel arr just that service personnel so WHO CARES

  • Carol Wilkinson

    Boycott this tacky piece of crap. Either way the firing was wrong. Check out the website-it’s a Britney Spears trailer trash train wreck anyway.

  • MetroAtlSouth

    Cosmopolitan Resort & Hotel….as sophisticated as they claim to be, should have kept their mouths closed. Their reasoning for firing this woman will hopefully get them punished doubly. If they are making big money (and it seems they are), they are handling business right but I highly suspect this woman is on target with her complaint. Sue their drawers off!

  • JD

    SHE says she was fired for being pregnant. SHE was probably real ghetto & her act probably grew thin on her bosses. Move on & get a life honey!

  • pat downing

    While this may just be ANOTHER FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT….I remember when we employees had to perform to certain standards which may be conceived as “ridiculous” nowdays. Companies used to have the POWER to hire and fire anyone they wanted to WHICH SHOULD STILL BE SO. I don’t know about Hispanics, but you better not try to fire a Black, if you hired one….lawsuit.

  • deborah jones

    Come on people are we not in 2012. Chauvinistic – narrow minded or what. Hope the lady wins her case.

  • Mike

    Now I know where I won’t be staying I f I ever make it to Vegas. Maybe by then it’ll be knocked down and replaced by a Wynn establishment!

  • Edward

    People you need to learn what “right to work” means. It does not mean that a company can fire you for no reason, it means that a company or union can not require you to join a union or that the company can not require a union not represent you. The “right to work” law is there to protect the worker force not the company. A company must still show just cause for terminating you. They must show in documented evidence that you have violated company policies and that you have been counseled at least three times and retrained or discussed with a superior about said infractions. This people is why so many employees are treated badly is because they are not educated on labor laws and why so many places do not pay a living wage. If more people would go to their local state employment offices and request the statutes and ask for a description in plain simple English, then these employees would be empowered to make a collective group effort to force companies to pay a fair living wage based on the economic standard of living where they reside. I beg of you people to do this and show the company owners and managers that you are worth the money to continue keeping their business going and companies would then realize that by paying their employees a better wage employees are happier and more loyal to their employers. This makes companies more profitable and makes you more self confident.

  • sally

    She’s there for 7 months and needs pregnancy leave and medical. Outrageous, I’ve seen so many get jobs then take advantage of the company by a pregnancy withing the first (or even second) year of employment. Federal law is wrong and harmful to companies. So many woman abuse the system, that it must change. Bravo to the cosmo for getting rid of this breeder-leech.

  • Robert

    Melodee said that she was “occasionally asked to deliver items to rooms”, my question is was the request in keeping with her job duties or was it something extra her boss asked her to do? Making verbally derisive comments to someone who is pregnant is way out of line and creates a hostile work environment especially if it’s done where others can hrear. It doesn’t say in the article if Melodee filed a complaint with the HR department regarding the harrassment but I hope she did and did so in writing. It sounds to me like she has a good case for unlawful termination. I hope she wins her individual case and the class action suit as well.

  • Jonah

    Everyone is acting the employer (as always.) How do you know that this wasn’t the typical, lazy employee who can’t get along with her colleagues, spews out tons of profanity, spreads gossip when she should be working, gives guests and clients a ton of attitude, etc. There’s more to this story than what is being said. If you really like a person and he/she is a good worker, you’ll do what you can to keep them employed.

  • Jonah

    *blaming the employer

  • mitchell

    Depending on how long she is into her pregnancy…It could be a health Issue ” Hello thank you for calling….. OMG MY WATER JUST BROKE please remain on the line, and we will be with you shortly.

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