Jeff Bezos may be enjoying his life in the most luxurious way possible on his $500 million mega yacht, Koru, but allegedly, the same cannot be said for his staff.
In a shocking turn of events, Mercedes Veda, a former cleaner for Amazon's co-founder, has filed a lawsuit against him. She claims that she and other employees were made to work in unsafe and inhumane conditions, often enduring long 14-hour shifts without breaks. She also described instances of discriminatory treatment towards Hispanic employees.
Furthermore, Veda alleges that staff were prohibited from using the restroom during certain hours when Bezos and his family were at home. Instead, they were expected to use a room that required climbing through a window and passing through a dirty machinery room, followed by a chemical-filled cleaning room.
This lack of access to clean restrooms allegedly frequently led to urinary tract infections among the cleaning staff. According to Yahoo News, the lawsuit also highlights claims of discriminatory treatment towards Hispanic employees. Veda asserts that she was degraded and later fired after expressing her concerns. She initiated legal proceedings in November 2022.
As expected, Bezos' attorney, Harry Corel, has dismissed these claims, deeming them unfounded and absurd - and they do indeed appear that way. According to Bezos' legal team, Veda received a six-figure salary and had autonomy regarding her breaks and mealtime. They argue that the world's third-richest man has no logical reason to deny his employees access to restrooms and breaks.
Further casting doubt on Veda's claims is the fact that she filed the lawsuit after her $9 million settlement request was rejected. Bezos' side contends that she was terminated due to performance issues, as reported by Yahoo!. If these claims are proven true, it could result in a significant blow to the reputation and wealth of the Amazon founder.