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Former Housekeeper Sues Jeff Bezos for Racial Discrimination

Mercedes Wedaa has filed a lawsuit against Jeff Bezos for race discrimination. In her complaint, Wedaa alleged she worked as a housekeeper for many high-profile families in the past 18 years without any performance issues.

For about 18 months, Wedaa cleaned Jeff Bezo’s Seattle home and sometimes cleaned other residences owned by him. She supervised a team of 5-6 housekeepers. Wedaa stated the housekeeping team was all Hispanic except for one employee. She said the housekeepers did not have a place to take a break during their 10 to 14-hour work days. They would eat in the small laundry, which did not include a place to sit or to store and warm-up food. They did not receive rest breaks and meal periods. In addition, Wedaa alleges, "there was no reasonably accessible bathroom for the housekeepers." If the Bezos family was home, Wedaa said she and the other housekeepers were not allowed to access the home unless they were "performing a cleaning assignment." Wedaa alleged that she and the other housekeepers were "forced to climb out of the laundry room window to the outside" Then, they had to run along the path to the mechanical room, through the mechanical room, and downstairs to a bathroom. Because it was so difficult to use the bathroom, the housekeepers allegedly developed frequent urinary tract infections. Wedaa alleged she and the other Hispanic housekeepers were treated differently from Caucasian employees. She alleged her supervisors demeaned them and acted disrespectfully toward them. Wedaa said she complained, but the working environment did not improve. Wedaa said they fired her and told her it was because she appeared "unhappy."

Bezo’s attorney denied all of the claims to the media. He said Wedaa’s allegations of discrimination based on race were “absurd.” The attorney further stated, “the evidence will show that Wedaa was terminated for performance reasons.”