December 4, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Housekeeper sues Jeff Bezos

Housekeeper sues Jeff Bezos

The former housekeeper of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is at odds with her former boss. She accuses him of poor working conditions and discrimination.

Bilingual. testing. efficient. Motivated, exuberant. No wonder assistant Jeff Bezos did not hesitate to hire Mercedes Brigade in September 2019 as a housekeeper at his private villa in Seattle. But Wada has another quality: her voice and her assertiveness. She now claims that her criticism of working conditions at Bezos’ home led to her resignation. Hence, it has sued Bezos and two of his companies for work-related wrongdoing. She also feels that she has been unjustly fired: she has never been criticized for her work.

The court documents, which can be found online, provide interesting insight into what is going on in the home of one of the world’s richest entrepreneurs. Goodbye, initially hired as a lone housekeeper, after a few years becomes part of the six-person team that runs the home of Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. Nicknamed the “Home Coordinator,” she reported to the “House Manager,” who runs the company in which Bezos makes his homes.

Lunch in the laundry room

Her objections to employment are numerous. She had to work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but she was not paid overtime. There was little time for a break, and there was no staff canteen. We had our lunch in the laundry room, which is about 3 by 2 meters. There were no chairs, no microwave, no fridge. For a year and a half, according to Wadaa, domestic workers had to use the toilet in an outbuilding, accessed by climbing out a window.

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She also accuses Bezos of admitting discrimination because of her Mexican ancestry. All but one of the housekeepers were Latinas, while all of their bosses were white. She asks the judge for compensation, the amount of which has not yet been determined.

Reverse Bloomberg Bezos’ lawyer says Wadda’s complaints are groundless, and the billionaire will defend himself against the allegations on that basis. He asserts that domestic workers are free to take breaks if necessary. Wada’s team worked independently, often with no one to supervise their work. There will also be several toilets in the house that can be used, as well as spaces for taking breaks. He also notes that Wadaa was paid a “six-figure” annual salary – at least $100,000. She allegedly filed the complaint when Bezos refused her $9 million request. “We have evidence that it is disabled.” He describes the claim that Bezos and Sanchez characterize as “ridiculous.” Wada’s lawyer says billionaires should also abide by the laws. “The law simply states that employees have the right to a safe and healthy work environment.”