Vegas casino sued for pregnancy discrimination

May 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM
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LAS VEGAS, May 17 (UPI) -- A former employee at a Las Vegas casino said she was told she was fired for saying "bye-bye" instead of "goodbye" on the phone when she was pregnant.

Melodee Megia sued the Cosmopolitan resort and casino for pregnancy discrimination and joined a class-action suit for workers' wages, claiming employees weren't paid for the time they had to wait for and change into their uniforms daily, ABC News reported Thursday.

Court papers filed in Clark County District Court indicated Megia worked at the hotel from November 2010 to September 2011, when she said she was fired "based on her pregnancy." She answered the telephone when guests called for room service and occasionally helped with room delivery, her lawyers said.

Attorney Mark Thierman said his client was "denigrated verbally and was mistreated because of her pregnancy" while having a "behind-the-scenes" job at the hotel.

"As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation," Amy Rossetti, public relations director of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, said in a statement.

When she was eight months pregnant, the "stated reason for [her] termination was that she said 'bye-bye' instead of 'goodbye' on the telephone to a room service customer," the suit said. She is seeking unspecified damages.

"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 said.

In the same filing, Megia made allegations for unpaid wages on behalf of the hotel's employees who could only wear their uniforms on site, and had to pick up and drop off their uniforms before clocking in or out.

"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."

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