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EOC helps FDW with cancer sue employer for discrimination

24 December 2020

By The SUN 

The employer fired the helper, citing her cancer as the cause

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) started legal proceedings on Dec 23 against an employer who allegedly discriminated against her former foreign domestic worker by terminating her after she was diagnosed with stage IIIB cervical cancer. 

The EOC filed the case under Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), Cap. 487 in the District Court.

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According to a press statement issued by the EOC, the claimant had taken sick leave for around three weeks after a provisional diagnosis of cervical cancer. 

She was dismissed by the respondent employer a few days after she was confirmed to have cancer, with the termination letter expressly citing the ailment and related sick leave as the reason for her dismissal.

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The statement said the DDO protects persons with disability against discrimination, harassment and vilification. Under the DDO, it is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee on the ground of the employee’s disability (which includes an illness).

The EOC says that by filing the case, it hopes to raise public awareness about the plight of FDWs being subjected to discriminatory treatment by their employers after falling ill. 

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It also wants to remind employers that disability discrimination in the workplace is unlawful, and that they should provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities. 

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