"Nobody wants to be a 'midget'": Tucson woman stands up to employer after losing her job
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It's a 6-letter word that tears people down. It's so offensive groups like the Little People of America are calling for an FCC ban of the word 'midget'. But it's a word one Tucson woman had to put up with for months.
"It's sad to see someone's eyes and the way they look at you like you're just a little person," Zoraya Reyna said. "I don't want to be a midget."
That 6-letter "m" word brought Reyna to tears. At 4 foot 9 inches tall, it's a word she's had to hear often, but she never thought she would hear it at work inside Guess, at Park Place Mall.
9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito asked Reyna how that word made her feel. She replied, "Who wants to be a midget? I don't know if I am or not, but who wants to be told that especially at their work. That's supposed to be a safe spot where people don't judge you."
But she tells 9OYS, she was judged told she "didn't have the Guess look." Her assistant manager used the "m" word over and over again.
"Why is it necessary to use that word, you could use small, petite, little," Reyna said. "It's not necessary to point out that you're 4"9 and considered a midget."
Her complaints to Guess management went unanswered. No one listened says Reyna's attorney Ronald Tocchini.
"Instead the response she got when she reported to work the next day was you're fired," Reyna said.
Reyna says she was fired even though Reyna was an all-star sales associate, an employee of the month multiple times. And the numbers prove it. She sold more than $10,000 in back to school sales. She sold $151 dollars in sales per hour. The store average was $135.
"Instead of appreciation, I got mistreatment. I got bullied," she said. "I was afraid to go into my job."
Reyna tells KGUN9 she's turning that fear into legal action against Guess.
"If Guess is determined to treat Zoraya in this way, we're going to come after them," Tocchini said. "We're going to come after them hard."
Reyna's attorney has reached out to Guess, but he has not heard back. He plans to file a complaint on Reyna's behalf with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
9OYS also reached to Guess to hear their side of the story. The company says it does not comment on personnel matters.