Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has denied allegations that his ex-housekeeper confronted racial discrimination and unsafe working circumstances whereas employed at his Seattle mansion as outlined in a lawsuit filed this week, with Bezos’ lawyer telling Forbes the claims have been investigated by his agency and “lack benefit.”
On Tuesday, plaintiff Mercedes Wedaa filed a lawsuit in a Seattle state court docket claiming that after she joined the billionaire’s employees in September 2019, she labored 10 to 14 hours a day with out meal breaks or relaxation if Bezos or his family had been residence.
Wedaa additionally mentioned she confronted racial discrimination from one among Bezos’ family managers, who in keeping with the grievance “grew to become aggressive and abusive” towards Wedaa, who’s Hispanic. (Wedaa mentioned the supervisor handled white staff otherwise than her and different Hispanic employees).
In response to the grievance, family employees didn’t have a chosen break room or simply accessible toilet, and when employees would attempt to have meal breaks in a laundry room, they had been prohibited from utilizing a close-by toilet, which compelled them to climb out of a window to entry one other one.
The lengths required to entry a toilet precipitated many members of employees to develop urinary tract infections, the grievance states.
Wedaa, who was fired after almost three years of employment, is in search of again pay and advantages and financial damages.
Bezos’ legal professional Harry Korrell advised Forbes in an announcement that the concept of Bezos, his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez or Northwestern LLC–which manages Bezos’ properties–discriminating towards Wedaa primarily based on her race or nationwide origin is “absurd.” Korrell additionally disputed Wedaa’s allegations about work circumstances, saying that because the lead housekeeper who made a six-figure wage, she was liable for setting her personal break and meal occasions and utilized a number of bogs and break rooms for workers. The proof will present Wedaa was terminated for “efficiency causes” and that she initially demanded $9 million and filed the lawsuit after the corporate refused to pay, Korrell mentioned.
We estimate Bezos is price $113.6 billion, making him the second-wealthiest particular person on the earth after Elon Musk.
Bezos has additionally come beneath hearth for the circumstances of Amazon staff throughout the nation. In September, greater than 30 Amazon employee coalitions, labor organizations and group teams requested Congress to name a listening to on warehouse safety and to ask high Amazon officers to testify about working circumstances. Final yr, there have been 34,000 serious injuries involving staff at Amazon amenities, in keeping with knowledge from the Occupational Security and Well being Administration. The corporate apologized in 2021 for denying stories that supply drivers urinated in bottles on the job with the intention to meet strict time restraints.
Bezos Sued by Ex-Housekeeper OverRacial Bias, Long Hours (Bloomberg)
Jeff Bezos sued by former housekeeper alleging racial discrimination (The Guardian)