The idea of being “fired for bye-bye” sounds off, but on its face, a woman who worked for a Vegas casino says that the reason given for her termination was a bit thin, and highlights the need for a re-evaluation of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Which is not to say that one woman “fired for bye-bye” is an indicator of a systemic problem but rather that overall, there is little to no protection in the US compared to other nations when it comes to pregnancy discrimination. According to the woman, her termination from employment at the eight-month mark during her pregnancy was just a smoke screen, as management had actually wished to fire her because she was pregnant and not due to any misconduct.
Given that we as a nation have no mandated pregnancy or family leave, is the “fired for bye-bye” story really so shocking? Employers naturally are not going to want to keep pregnant employees on when there is no reason otherwise not to fire them and hire someone healthy, essentially meaning that in the US, if you have a job and get pregnant, unless you are a high-level executive, you are boned. (Well, boned again.)
According to 37-year-old Melodee Megia, her superior at the Vegas casino that formerly employed her made several inappropriate comments about her condition in the time leading up to her firing, saying that “that is what happens when you have sex” in relation to her pregnancy as well as referring to condoms provided to guests and telling Megia she “should have thought about it before getting knocked up.”
But the official way Megia says she was fired for bye-bye was that she said the phrase instead of “goodbye” when speaking to a guest on the phone. ABC quotes a lawyer for Megia:
“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].”
A class action suit adjacent to the “fired for bye-bye” legal action also alleges workers at the hotel were forced to do unpaid overtime due to strict clock-in and clock-out policies as well as uniform regulations.