Jeff Bezos is being sued by his former housekeeper.
The Amazon founder and the companies that manage his properties are in the hot seat now that Mercedes Wedaa, who worked at his Seattle mansion for nearly three years, has filed a lawsuit after allegedly being forced to work in conditions so bad, she and other housekeepers would have to climb out a window just to use the BATHROOM!
According to legal documents, which were filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday, Wedaa and other housekeepers faced “unsafe and unhealthy work conditions” — and not only that, allegedly they were being subjected to racial discrimination by other staff as well.
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Wedaa was hired back in 2019 to help maintain the massive mansion. She claims she often had to work 10-12 hour days, without “rest or meal breaks.” According to the filings, there “was no designated area for [Wedaa] to sit down and rest,” and:
“Plaintiff and other housekeepers would try and eat some food in the upstairs laundry room, which was very small, about 10 x 6 ft, and without seats or appliances like a microwave or fridge.”
The filings further alleged:
“There was no reasonably accessible bathroom for the housekeepers. Next to the upstairs laundry room there was a very small security room. It had multiple security monitors and usually two security personnel present. For a short time, [Wedaa] would get permission from the security staff to use the small toilet in the security room. This soon stopped though because it was decided that housekeepers using the bathroom was a breach of security protocol.”
As a result, the housekeepers “were forced to climb out of the laundry room window to the outside. Then run along the path to the mechanical room, through the mechanical room and downstairs to a bathroom,” as the staff was allegedly prohibited from entering the residence while the Bezos family were there.
Furthermore, the filings allege the housekeeping staff would frequently develop urinary tract infections because they “had to spend large parts of their day unable to use the toilet.”
The suit also claims Wedaa and the primarily Hispanic housekeeping team were treated poorly by other staff while said staff was “respectful and polite” to Bezos’ white groundskeepers and maintenance team. Ultimately, Wedaa believes she was fired as a result of raising concerns about her working conditions and the discriminatory behavior.
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Harry Korrell, a legal representative for Bezos and the other defendants, which include Zefram and Northwestern, two companies that manage his interests and properties, denied the accusations in a statement to CNBC, noting:
“We have investigated the claims, and they lack merit.”
He added Wedaa made over six figures annually, and that multiple bathrooms and break rooms were available.
Meanwhile, Patrick McGuigan, the attorney representing Wedaa, told the outlet:
“No employer is above the law, not even Jeff Bezos and the organizations he uses to locate and hire people to work for him at his home and at his other properties. Federal and state labor and employment laws dictate that working people must be paid for the work they perform and that they must be able to perform their work in a discrimination free, safe, sanitary, and healthy workplace. These laws must be adhered to by all employers.”
Wild accusations! What are your thoughts, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below).
[Images via MEGA/WENN]