Lebanon’s Ambassador to the US is facing a lawsuit from a former housekeeper for failing to pay minimum wage and verbally abusing and mistreating her. Lawyers for the ambassador argue that diplomatic immunity protects the ambassador and his family from litigation arising from commercial activities (oh, and that they deny the charges):
The attorney for a former housekeeper to the Lebanese ambassador to the United States is challenging the scope of diplomatic immunity laws, arguing that domestic work is outside of commercial activities relating to diplomatic responsibilities that are protected against litigation.
The Lebanese ambassador, Antoine Chedid, is facing a lawsuit (PDF) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia brought by his family’s former housekeeper, Aracli Montuya, who claims the Chedid family failed to pay minimum wage and verbally abused and mistreated her. Montuya worked in the ambassador’s residence from August 2007 to September 2009.
Hopefully our Ambassador handles things better than our Counsel General in Sydney who filed a lawsuit against a blogger for calling him a ‘Zionist’. He ended up losing the court battle and when faced with paying court fees, he declared diplomatic immunity and subsequently had his bank account frozen by the courts to try to recover the funds. He even went to the extent to warn Australian authorities that this issue could lead to war between Beirut and Canberra.