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Mark Zuckerberg & Priscilla Chan's Former Home Workers Sue Over Alleged Failure to Pay, Harassment

·4 min read
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty (L-R) Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have been sued by two former employees who allege that they faced sexual harassment and discrimination from their colleagues and did not receive all wages owed to them during their time working for the couple's family household.

Both complaints — filed last month in San Francisco County Superior Court and first reported by Insider — name Zuckerberg, the 37-year-old CEO of Facebook, and Chan, a 36-year-old pediatrician and philanthropist, as defendants alongside several other corporate entities related to the family, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

One complaint was made on behalf of Mia King, who was described in the court documents as a Black woman and member of the LGBTQ community who worked from May 2018 through February 2019 for Limitless Specialty Services, LLC, a company that provides security services for the family.

The other complaint was filed for an unidentified, openly gay man with epilepsy who is referred to as John Doe. The plaintiff said in the court documents that he worked as the Household Operations Manager for the family from January 2017 to March 2019.

In her complaint, King alleged she was "subjected to a continuing pattern of racial and sexual harassment and discrimination" from fellow employees, including "frequent comments that she was 'ghetto,' " and inappropriate comments about her breasts.

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She also claimed that "overtly-sexualized comments directed at openly homosexual employees" were "frequently" made in her presence.

At one point after making a complaint about the working conditions, King claimed she was told "that she needed to 'act accordingly' because 'men are in leadership here, men are in power,' " according to the court documents.

In addition to her hostile work environment allegations, King claimed she was never compensated for working overtime.

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Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

AMY OSBORNE/Getty Mark Zuckerberg

In his complaint, Doe alleged that during the course of his employment he was "unlawfully insulted, ridiculed, demeaned, groped, propositioned and sexually assaulted" by fellow employees.

Throughout his employment, Doe was "responsible for overseeing and managing various properties for the Zuckerberg family," per the complaint. He alleged that he "often" worked over 40 hours a week and more than eight hours a day for the family — time for which he was not compensated.

Doe, who said he "occasionally experienced tremors and weakness in his hands and leg" due to his epilepsy, also alleged that requests he made to "avoid carrying heavy and/or large items" as well as being able to "take small breaks when forced to work long hours" were not accommodated.

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Ben LaBolt, a spokesperson for the Chan-Zuckerberg family office, says in a statement to PEOPLE that following "separate multi-week investigations," the allegations made in the complaints "could not be substantiated."

"The family office takes complaint of workplace misconduct very seriously and promptly investigates all such matters," LaBolt adds. "We firmly believe that these employees were treated fairly and respectfully and the family office is confident that it will defeat these claims."

"As we previously stated when these claims were anonymously leaked to the media over two years ago, our family office follows a strict code of conduct that requires appropriate behavior from all members of our teams. It is our expectation that each of our employees adheres to this code of conduct," LaBolt continues. "Any complaint made to our HR personnel is taken seriously and is investigated and addressed. We are proud of the team of professionals who work in the family office and are confident that these claims, which seek to unfairly disparage our colleagues, will fail."

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Employee Justice Legal Group — the law firm of attorney Colleen Mullen, who represents both plaintiffs — said in a previous statement that the former employees "are eager to exercise their constitutional rights to have the truth heard."

Both King and Doe have made requests for their cases to be heard before a jury.

Neither Zuckerberg, Chan or any other defendants named in the complaint have formally responded to the allegations in court, NBC News reported. Hearings have not yet been scheduled.

A representative for Facebook — which is not named in either complaint — did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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