Jeff Bezos is sued by housekeeper who claims she was forced to work up to 14-hours a day without a break in ‘unsanitary conditions’
- The lawsuit is against Jeff Bezos and two companies which he uses to manage his personal investments and properties, Zefram LLC and Northwestern LLC
- Mercedes Wedaa worked at the billionaire Amazon CEO’s Seattle residence for nearly three years before she was fired
- She claims the working conditions were poor, and there were no breaks
- Wedaa filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court in Seattle
- Jeff Bezos’ attorney has bashed the claims, saying they have ‘no merit’
Jeff Bezos is being sued by his fired housekeeper for racial discrimination and poor working conditions after she claimed she was forced to work 14-hour days without a break in ‘unsanitary conditions.’
Mercedes Wedaa worked at the billionaire Amazon CEO’s Seattle residence for nearly three years, in which time she was allegedly disrespected because of her race and was wrongly terminated for raising complaints about discrimination.
She and other workers allege that they had to climb out of windows to access the bathrooms during long shifts after being barred from using one inside the main house.
They were also never allowed to take breaks or eat lunch, according to the suit filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle – but Bezos’ attorney has bashed the claims, saying they have ‘no merit.’
The lawsuit is against Bezos and two companies which he uses to manage his personal investments and properties, Zefram LLC and Northwestern LLC.
Wedaa worked at Bezos’ main 5.3-acre Seattle-area residence in the exclusive suburb of Medina, but sometimes would also work at his other homes. It’s believed Bezos paid $10million for the property in 1998, on which he has two homes.
Jeff Bezos is facing a lawsuit after one of his former housekeepers at his Seattle residence said she was fired after complaining about discrimination. She also claims that there were no breaks during her long shifts while working for Bezos’ household
Mercedes Wedaa (pictured) was a lead housekeeper in Bezos’ Medina, Seattle, home. She was earning six figures during her role there. She was fired, and then filed the lawsuit against the billionaire and two companies which he uses to manage his personal investments and properties, Zefram LLC and Northwestern LLC
Bezos owns two homes on the same plot of land in Medina, an exclusive Seattle suburb. He paid $10million for the 5.3-acre property in 1998
She was hired in September 2019, and she later became lead housekeeper, overseeing five to six people. She would sometimes interact with the billionaire when he was at the home, the lawsuit claims.
Wedaa was paid a six-figure salary and was fired for performance issues, one insider told Geekwire. It was only after her termination that she lodged the issues against Bezos.
Before working for Bezos, she had been a housekeeper for wealthy and high profile families for 18 years, according to the lawsuit.
It claims that she sometimes worked up to 14 hours a day with no breakroom and nowhere to sit and rest.
There also was ‘no reasonably accessible bathroom for the housekeepers,’ and for 18 months they were forced to climb out the laundry room window to the outside, before running along a path to the mechanical room to use the toilet.
She claims that housekeepers ‘frequently’ developed UTIs from not being able to use the restroom when they needed to.
The lawsuit claims that ‘no one ever told [Wedaa] she was entitled to breaks and no one ever told her to take a break. [She] did not know she was legally entitled to rest and lunch breaks.’
But Bezos’ lawyer has rubbished the allegations – telling DailyMail.com that she was in fact responsible for her own break and meal times.
Wedaa also claims that the house managers ‘treated [her] and later the other Hispanic housekeepers who were hired different from Caucasian employees.’
They allegedly mocked, ridiculed, disrespected, and demeaned her.
The suit claims that because she complained about ‘discrimination, retaliation, violation of wage and hour laws, violations of workplace health and safety laws, and laws against hiring undocumented workers’ her managers retaliated and fired her.
Before working for Bezos, she had been a housekeeper for wealthy and high profile families for 18 years, according to the lawsuit
They were also never allowed to take breaks or eat lunch, according to the suit filed in King County Superior Court in Seattle
Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez
On her termination papers, they cited the ‘ridiculously concocted reason’ that she was ‘unhappy’ and having a negative effect on the team, the lawsuit claims.
Wedaa’s Linkedin profile suggests she left the job at the private household in September 2022, just two months before lodging the lawsuit.
Patrick Leo McGuigan, of HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, who filed the suit on behalf of Wedaa, told Geekwire: ‘My client is extremely credible.
‘She’s a hard-working American, a person who’s been in this industry for some years now, housekeeping for wealthy, high-profile families. She’s never had any issues with anyone.’
Harry Korrell, an attorney who represents Bezos, said: ‘We’ve investigated these claims, they have no merit, and we’ll defend against them.
‘Ms. Wedaa made over six figures annually and was the lead housekeeper. She was responsible for her own break and meal times, and there were several bathrooms and breakrooms available to her and other staff.
‘The evidence will show that Ms. Wedaa was terminated for performance reasons. She initially demanded over $9million, and when the company refused, she decided to file this suit.
‘Given their backgrounds, the suggestion that Mr. Bezos, Ms. Sanchez, or Northwestern LLC discriminated against Ms. Wedaa based on her race or national origin is absurd.’
Bezos owns two homes on a large property in Medina, an exclusive Seattle suburb that is also home to Bill Gates.
He and his ex-wife paid $10million for the 5.3-acre property 24 years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.
One of the homes covers 20,600 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The other is 8,300 square feet with five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The latter is rumored to have cost $53million to build.
The estate with 310 feet of Lake Washington shoreline underwent a $28million renovation in 2010.
Bezos was married to Mackenzie Scott from 1994 until 2019, and his current girlfriend Lauren Sanchez was married to Endeavor talent agency co-founder Patrick Whitesell from 2005 until 2019.
Bezos split with Scott in January 2019, and he published a blog post about how American Media Inc. owner David McKenzie threatened to post pictures of him and Sanchez, while they both were married.
Sanchez split with Whitesell in April 2019, with their divorce finalized in August 2019.
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