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Maid seeks $100k after beating by boss’ wife

03 August 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao

Jen-jen Gambol shows her bruised face.
A Filipina helper is claiming a total of $106,630 from her former employer after his wife allegedly beat her up on the sixth day of her employment for damaging a blouse she was pressing.

The Labour Tribunal is set to hear on Aug 11 the claim filed by Jen-jen Gambol, 24, against her male employer, W.H. Tang.

Gambol said she took her case to the Tribunal after an meeting with Tang at the Labour Department on July 13 ended in a stalemate when the employer insisted on paying her only $1,900 for her plane ticket to Manila.

The Filipina is claiming a full month’s salary in lieu of notice, saying her having been physically assaulted by her female employer amounted to a constructive termination of her contract.

She is also seeking compensation for her injuries and loss of earning capacity.

The mother of a boy aged 5 and a girl , 3, from Nueva Vizcaya arrived in Hong Kong on June 12 for her first overseas job as domestic helper.

From the airport, she was taken by her Hong Kong agent,Sunlight Agency, to its shelter in North Point.

She started working for Tang on June 15, the day he fetched her from Sunlight and took her to his home.

“I came to work here for the future of my children. I didn’t expect this would happen to me,” Gambol, the wife of a construction worker, told The SUN.

She said she applied at Ascend recruitment agency in Ermita, Manila, in January and paid a total of Php48,000 for training, enhancement, medical, and photo-video fees.

In her police statement, Gambol said she was ironing clothes in the bedroom at around 7pm when she unintentionally burned a blouse belonging to her employer’s wife.

“I was scared. I went out to the living room to show her the damaged blouse and told her, ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry I burned your blo use. Please deduct it from my first salary,” she said.

Mrs Tang, said to be a teacher, allegedly rose and pulled her hair and slapped her a number of times. The woman then ordered her to the bedroom but followed her and allegedly struck her head with a mobile phone. The maid blocked some of the blows with her hand, but injured her ring finger. She also suffered bruises on her left cheek and left upper arm.

The employer’s wife then reportedly told her to hand-wash more of her clothes. She obeyed, but while she was washing, the employer again ordered her to iron more clothes.

“When I asked her to teach me how to do it so as I won’t damage them, she again flared up and grabbed my hair and banged my head on the bathroom wall,” Gambol said.

The next day, when Mrs Tang went to work, her mother reportedly arrived in the flat and noticed Gambol couldn’t wash the laundry fast enough. The maid said she showed the elderly woman her injuries and told her about the incident.

The other woman allegedly told Gambol she should tell her male employer, who was asleep, but the maid said he might get angry so she had better tell the employment agency.

The helper then went downstairs and met another Filipina maid who noticed her injuries and helped her call 999.

The officers who responded took photos of her injuries then told her to lead them to her employer’s flat to pick up her important belongings.

They took her to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yaumatei afterwards for a medical checkup.

Gambol said the police who questioned Mrs Tang were still investigating.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office has blacklisted the employer and helped the maid prepare for her Tribunal appearance.

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration gave her money for her visa extension.
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