Jeff Bezos was sued by a former housekeeper who alleges she was subject to racial discrimination.
Jeff Bezos was sued by a former housekeeper who claims she was the victim of racial discrimination by his staff and was forced to work long hours in unsanitary conditions with no rest or meal breaks.
Mercedes Wedaa, who joined the billionaire Amazon. The staff of the founder of com Inc. worked sometimes 10 to 14 hours a day in September 2019, overseeing a team of five to six housekeepers, according to her complaint filed Tuesday in the Seattle District Court.
According to the complaint, the staff had no dedicated break or rest area and no easily accessible toilet. Domestic workers allegedly tried to eat in a laundry room and were not allowed to use a toilet in a nearby security room, according to the complaint, forcing them to climb out of a window to access a bathroom.
“We have investigated these claims, they have no value and we will defend ourselves against them,” Harry Korrell, a lawyer representing Bezos and other defendants, said in an emailed statement.
One of Bezos’ household managers “became aggressive and abusive” towards Wedaa, treating her and other Hispanic workers differently from Bezos’ white gardeners and maintenance workers, she claimed. She was eventually fired after nearly three years of employment, according to the complaint.
“Labour and labor laws say that working people should be paid for the work they do, and they should be able to do that work in a safe, hygienic and healthy workplace,” said Patrick McGuigan, a lawyer representing Wedaa.
Wedaa is demanding wages and benefits, as well as monetary damages, according to the complaint.
Defendants in the case include Zefram LLC and Northwestern LLC, which the lawsuit identifies as entities that control Bezos’ property.
The lawsuit was previously reported by the Seattle technology news site GeekWire.