by Cassandra R. Elias
In the News: Cosmopolitan Hotel Fires Pregnant Woman for Saying "Bye-Bye" to Guest
In what may be one of the most blatantly discriminatory cases against pregnant working women yet, a pregnant woman was fired by the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas allegedly for saying "bye-bye" on the telephone instead of "goodbye" to a guest.
Melodee Megia was fired last September 2011 at eight months pregnant after enduring months of jokes and insults about her pregnancy. She has now filed a lawsuit against the hotel alleging labor law violations, including pregnancy discrimination.
Melodee, 37, began work at the hotel in November 2010 answering phones for room service and occasionally making deliveries. She alleges that when she began showing signs of pregnancy, her supervisor began making derogatory comments about it and giving her dirty looks.
In September 2011, her supervisor told her that she was being fired for ending a phone call with "bye-bye." Melodee's lawsuit states that this was an excuse and that they simply wanted her out because of her pregnancy. As she was due in a month, she faced a loss of health insurance. She was also ineligible for unemployment benefits since was fired "for cause."
She has been unable to find work and according to her attorney, suffers panic, anxiety and depression.
Her attorney, Mark Thierman tells ABC, "She's doesn't have a Ph.D. She's doing what she can to get by."
The lawsuit lists a series of remarks that her supervisor allegedly made soon after she started showing. Among them, when Melodee was told to deliver a "pleasure packet" of condoms to a customer, her boss told her, "Isn't it too late for that? You should have thought about it before getting knocked up."
Attorney Thierman claims there is an atmosphere of harassment and labor abuses at The Cosmopolitan Hotel. Since it opened in December 2010, he has received calls from three different employees about harassment and claims to have received a dozen calls about wage violations.
The Cosmopolitan would not comment on the pending litigation, "as a matter of company policy."
Have you ever experienced any kind of pregnancy discrimination? How does this incident make you feel?