Feb. 24--A former employee of a Lafayette Walmart has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that she was discriminated against because she was Hispanic and pregnant and then fired when she filed a complaint.
Anastiacia Moreno, 19, filed the complaint on Wednesday against the Walmart at 745 U.S. 287 in Lafayette.
When reached by phone on Friday, officials at the Walmart declined to comment on the complaint.
Moreno, a former cashier, was hired in September 2016 and became pregnant in November. Moreno alleged in the complaint that she told a personnel manager in a purportedly confidential meeting, but that she was treated differently by supervisors after revealing her pregnancy.
"They made references that made it clear that they knew of her pregnancy and judged her decision to have a baby at age 19, out of wedlock," the complaint read. "Often, supervisors would make off-color comments and call her names, including 'nausea' and 'little baby mama.'"
Moreno also said that she was asked to do tasks such as lifting heavy objects or standing on her feet for long periods of time so that she would be forced to bring up her pregnancy to supervisors.
The complaint also alleges that Moreno was discriminated on because of her Hispanic heritage. One supervisor asked about her political beliefs prior to the 2016 general election, while another supervisor brought up Donald Trump's comments about Hispanics being rapists, thieves and criminals and said, "everything (Trump) says about Hispanics is true."
Moreno alleges that one supervisor in particular appeared to "have it out" for Moreno and her boyfriend, who also worked at the store and is Hispanic. On Jan. 13, Moreno said she was going on her lunch break and checked out in her boyfriend's line to buy some items.
According to Moreno, the supervisor "aggressively approached Ms. Moreno, slammed her hand down, and berated Ms. Moreno for checking out at her boyfriend's lane in front of a customer."
When Moreno said the supervisor was being a "rude person," Moreno said the supervisor responded by pointing a finger at Moreno and saying, "Watch your back."
Two days after that incident, Moreno filed a harassment report. Four days after filing the complaint, Moreno was told she was being fired for too many absences and tardies. Her boyfriend was also fired for the same reason, though Moreno said one supervisor told her that her absences were on par with other workers.
The complaint says that while Moreno was told about her termination on Jan. 19, the company lists her termination date as Jan. 16, just one day after the complaint.
Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/mitchellbyars
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