Sues Del Taco in Gresham for $200,000

A local woman is suing her former employer after she says she was fired for becoming pregnant.

The attorney for Claudia Melesio-Rojas said she worked as a shift lead at Del Taco, 2164 N.E. Burnside Road, Gresham.

According to a lawsuit she filed against her employers — Si-Pac Foods and managers Imran Chaudhry and Socorro Cruz-Santiago — last fall, managers told shift leads during a staff meeting that the shift leads were prohibited from becoming pregnant, saying “they need to be present and available at any time in order to perform their duties.”

Melesio-Rojas said she became pregnant and was fired from her job this February.

“Ultimately, we are looking to prevent other Oregon employers from taking these same steps against other employees,” said Quinn Kuranz, Melesio-Rojas’ lawyer.

The lawsuit states that “she was fired because a customer complained about not receiving all his food.” However, the suit goes on to say that the reason “was used as an excuse to terminate her because of her pregnancy.”

Kuranz said employers are “not permitted to fire an employee because they’re pregnant or because they’re expected to be pregnant because they are possibly going to take time off because of a pregnancy or because of pregnancy related issue.”

The lawsuit also claims Del Taco still owes Melesio-Rojas’ wages that were due upon her termination.

The manager of Del Taco had no comment on the accusations outlined in the lawsuit. The fast food restaurant’s attorney released a statement that read: “The Oregon Bureau of Labor (and Industries) reviewed Ms. Melesio-Rojas’ allegations of pregnancy discrimination and found that there was insufficient evidence to support them. Consequently, Bureau of Labor and Industries closed its investigation.”

Meanwhile, Melesio-Rojas is moving forward and suing her former employer for more than $200,000.

“Claudia is a great woman and she is a family mom, a great person, and she’s very brave and courageous for coming forward and standing up for herself,” Kuranz said.

Since her firing, Melesio-Rojas gave birth to a baby boy.

— This story is provided by KOIN 6, news partner of the Pamplin Media Group.

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