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Employer faces assault case after pushing DH out of house

15 June 2017

By Daisy CL Mandap

Bugbog na braso ng biktima.
Hong Kong police are investigating an assault complaint against an employer and his wife who allegedly pushed their Filipina helper out of their house following an argument over a broken laundry hanger in April this year.

The helper, Ruth Ramos Daria, 36, is also getting help from the Mission for Migrant Workers in claiming compensation from her employer for the injuries she allegedly suffered from the assault, and for alleged illegal deductions made from her salary.

On May 19,  Daria won the initial round of her claims against her employer, Wong Wai-keung, when they reached a settlement at the Labour Department over her unpaid wages. Daria was paid her full month’s salary of $4,110 in lieu of notice, despite the employer’s claim that he was not the one who terminated their contract.

But the Filipina insisted that she was effectively terminated because of the employer’s act of driving her away from his Tai Kok Tsui home on Apr 23.

In a written statement she gave to police, Daria said that she returned to her employer’s house at about 7:45pm that day but could not enter because she was not given a key. She had by then worked for the employer for 1 year and 8 months.

Wong and his wife reportedly arrived with their kids shortly after 8pm, and they all entered the house. On seeing the broken plastic hanger, the female employer reportedly got mad, and would not listen to Daria’s explanation that it had been that way for some time.

The couple then reportedly started questioning her about things in the house that she allegedly broke, but did not report about. Daria said she mentioned a crack in the washing machine, which she said she did not cause as it had been there from the time she started working for them.

This reportedly enraged the couple that they told her to leave their house.

“They both pushed me out of the premise(s) then closed the door. I have nothing with me so I knocked (on) the door and asked them...to let me (in) to get my handbag,” said Daria.

The couple reportedly opened the door, and Daria immediately went in search of her handbag, but the two blocked her way. Wong’s wife reportedly pressed on Daria’s hand to stop her and in the ensuing struggle, the Filipina’s left forearm was bruised.

At the same time, Wong allegedly pressed on Daria’s right arm in a bid to get her to leave.

Finally, Wong got the bag and allegedly threw it to Daria who proceeded to take out her phone to call the police, but was again pushed out of the house.

Eventually, police arrived and Daria was able to leave. She spent the night at her cousin’s boarding house in Mongkok. The next day, Daria said she saw the bruises and scratches on her arms, and decided to seek help from the Philippine Consulate, which in turn told her to file a complaint with the police, and get a medical report.

Though she had been paid a month’s salary, Daria says she is worried because the money is about to run out, but she is not permitted to work, or process a new employment contract in the meantime.

Her visitor’s visa has been extended to June 24 while the police continue to investigate her case.

The Mission is awaiting the police action before filing a separate claim for compensation, and for the $500 allegedly deducted illegally on two separate occasions from Daria’s salary - one for a scratched bath tub, and the other for a hairline crack on a wardrobe.
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