Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman’s Housekeeper Files Suit


Image: megwhitman2010/Flickr

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman used to have a clean public image. Until she got into politics, that is. The Republican California gubernatorial candidate is being sued by her former housekeeper.

Said housekeeper hired none other than celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who most recently represented the marketing contractor who got Mark Hurd kicked out of HP. Reuters has more:

A former housekeeper to California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman surfaced on Wednesday to say that the former eBay executive knowingly employed her illegally and treated her poorly.

The Whitman campaign moved quickly to counter the allegations by Nicky Diaz, saying the housekeeper from Mexico lied about her immigration status when she was hired in 2000, providing a Social Security card and other documents that appeared to show she could legally work in the United States.

At a news conference at her Los Angeles office, Allred said that Whitman never asked Diaz if she was in the country legally when Diaz was hired in 2000 and failed to pay her for all of the hours she was hired to work.

Allred also said that Whitman disregarded letters from the Social Security Administration notifying her that there were discrepancies with the Social Security number Diaz provided. A tearful Diaz said she came to Whitman in June 2009 for help getting legal status, but that Whitman angrily fired her instead.

Allred is a shark–and also a friend of Whitman’s Democratic rival Jerry Brown, according to Reuters. Whitman, meanwhile, provided copies of a US Immigration employment eligibility verification form, a Social Security card, and a California driver’s license for Diaz.

This is hard for Whitman’s tough-on-immigration platform. As a former Californian, I think Whitman was playing by the same don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy that many people in the state use. As long as her maid was doing a good job and charging a reasonable rate, Whitman had no reason to inquire into her legal status. Whitman did the legal thing by firing Diaz when she found out that Diaz was in fact illegal.

But then she didn’t report anything to the authorities. That would have been in line with her current platform. Whoops.

Incidentally, this isn’t Whitman’s first incursion with the law. The New York Times reports that she settled with another employee after an altercation:

In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay’s headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter was delicate and was deemed to be strictly confidential.

The employee, Young Mi Kim, was preparing Ms. Whitman for a news media interview that day. Ms. Kim, who was not injured in the incident, hired a lawyer and threatened a lawsuit, but the dispute was resolved under the supervision of a private mediator.

Two of the former employees said the company paid a six-figure financial settlement to Ms. Kim, which one of them characterized as “around $200,000.”

I still think the points against Whitman’s character are pretty weak. She lost her temper. She did a Californian don’t-ask-don’t-tell on her maid, until her maid shared some news that made her try to save face. It makes for good political drama, but that’s about it.

  • Norris Hall

    Conservatives should not give Meg a PASS.
    She broke the law by hiring an illegal, not confirming her status when asked to and then not reporting her to the immigration authorities when she should have.
    If conservatives are going to stay true to their anti illegal immigration policy, they are going to have to throw Meg under the bus.
    If you say “She just took the word of her maid”
    you are providing the excuse every employer of illegal immigrants will use in their own defense.

  • i totally agree with your view that the points given against whitman are weak enough to file a case against her, irrespective of the fact whether it’s true or false..
    i think she needs to provide more such points in order to justify.

  • Poor Meg Whitman got her hand caught in the cookie jar. It is VERY hard to believe someone can work for you in your house for MANY YEARS and you not knowing the person was illegal alien. Is this the same Meg Whitman who forced many ebay sellers thoughout the years with strict guidelines and selling practices and code of ethics? What is even worse is the money spent in salary throughout all those years could have went to an AMERICAN USA CITIZEN.

  • Can it be possibel that 9 years of employer withholdings sent to the goverment with a false Social Secuity number can go undetected? Did the employer (Whitman) continue payments after they were informed about the number supplied by the employee was incorrect. Was this a hourly employee with any benifits or any legal agreement ? I think all the cards should be laid on the table before the election so voteres know who they are voting for besides a very large bankroll.

  • MEG WHITMAN TO BE SUED BY EBAY SELLER WITH AN ABOUT ME PAGE WITH HIS VIETNAM EXSPRENCE(SORRY NO EDUC)PAYPAL TECHS AND EBAY TECH DEFRAUDED DISABLED VET OUT OF 100,000 DOLLARS BY NOT PLACING HIS ITEMS IN THE SEACH FIELD,WOULD NOT ANSWER TEXT MESSAGES OR EMAILS OR CALLS TO HER CAMPAIGN OFFICES PERTAINING TO THE INTERNATINAL TECHS DIRECTING BIDDERS AWAY FROM HIS SILVER COINS TO THE SELLERS OWHO ARE HELPING THE MIDDLE EAST,WITH CHEAP COMPUTERS AND CELL PHONE’S TECHS LIE IF YOU CAN HELP THIS HOMELESS VET THANKS TO MEG WHITMANS WAY OF RUNNING EBAY FOR HER PROFIT AND TO HELP TERROIST PLEASE CALL 434-203-4003 ELBERT C MYERS or email elbertmyers@comcast.net