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Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hit with wage, discrimination lawsuit

Officials with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas declined to comment Tuesday on a lawsuit filed by a former hourly employee, who alleges the Strip hotel-casino wrongly terminated her when she was eight months pregnant.

The lawsuit, which also seeks class-action status to represent hourly workers, claims Melodee Megia and others weren’t paid for all hours worked and were shorted on overtime.

The pay allegations target a timekeeping system that always rounded work hours in favor of The Cosmopolitan, which is based on 15-minute intervals, meaning employees could lose an hour per day as they punch in and out four times, according to the complaint.

“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation,” Cosmopolitan officials said in a statement.

In its quarterly report, Nevada Property 1 LLC, The Cosmopolitan’s parent company, confirmed it received a notice of a proposed class-action lawsuit “related to unpaid compensation for time incurred by employees while on the property for donning and doffing of the employees’ required uniform and alleged improper rounding of time for hours worked.”

“The company is in the process of evaluating the notice of intent and cannot at this time determine the potential impact,” according to the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As of Tuesday, Cosmopolitan attorneys had yet to file a response.

The 19-page complaint, filed by Megia in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas on Friday, claims she was subject to “pregnancy discrimination” and “wrongfully terminated” in September because of her pregnancy.

“The stated reason for (Megia’s) termination was that she said ‘bye bye’ instead of ‘good bye’ on the telephone to a room service customer,” the lawsuit said. “In fact, this was merely a pretext as (she) has been subject to harassing conduct.”

Megia worked in the room service sales section at The Cosmopolitan from Nov. 7, 2010, until she was fired on Sept. 16, the lawsuit said. Mark Thierman, a Reno attorney who specializes in wage lawsuits, represents Megia.

Megia claims a supervisor regularly criticized her for being pregnant, and on another occasion told a co-worker, “This is what happens when you have sex.”

She claims her supervisor, the director of room service, told her to deliver a “pleasure packet” of condoms to a guest and said: “Isn’t it too late for that? You should have thought about it before getting knocked up.”

Megia also said a Cosmopolitan pay check deposited on May 16, 2011, was “returned for insufficient funds,” causing an overdraft.

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