A former housekeeper filed a lawsuit against Amazon founder and one of the world's richest men Jeff Bezos alleging long working hours of up to 14 hours with no breaks, no accessible bathroom, among other unsafe and unhealthy working conditions.
Mercedes Wedaa, who oversaw an entire team of housekeepers for Bezos and worked for him, filed the lawsuit in Seattle on Tuesday, Nov 1. The lawsuit names Bezos, as well as two companies that allegedly manage his properties, Zefram LLC and Northwestern LLC, as defendants.
The legal writ, which does not mention a specific dollar amount for damages, says that some of Bezos' subordinates discriminated against Hispanic female workers like Wedaa in favor of their white counterparts.
The lawsuit mentions that the housewives “frequently developed urinary tract infections” due to the difficult access to the restrooms designated for them, in addition to the complications that they obtained to enter the restrooms of other staff members who worked on the property.
“For about 18 months, plaintiff and other housewives were forced to climb out of the bathroom window to use the bathroom. They were then to go through the path to the engine room, through the engine room, and down the stairs to a bathroom. This bathroom was used by both men and women, for example, the field staff also used it, ”says the document.
At one point, the housekeepers were told to use the bathroom attached to a security room where guards were monitoring cameras installed on the property, but they denied access, “because it was decided that using the bathroom was a violation .” of security protocol.
After the accusations of racism were made known, Bezos said that it is impossible for him to be with Hispanics because his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, is Mexican-American.
Bezos's attorney, Harry Korrel said, “The evidence will show that Ms. Wedaa was fired for performance reasons. Given her background, the suggestion that Mr. Bezos, Ms. Sanchez, or Northwestern LLC discriminated against Ms. Wedaa because of her race or national origin is absurd.”