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Pinay gets more than her claim after employer’s illegal acts revealed

10 October 2019

Pinay DH got lucky after she revealed her employer's illegal acts in the Tribuna

By Vir B. Lumicao

A Filipina domestic worker won a $5,000 settlement from her employer after she told the Labour Tribunal that she was made to stay and work in the flat of the employer’s mother whenever the couple who hired her went on a holiday.

Hui Ni Sha, who had a counterclaim for wages in lieu of notice against Leah Espiritu for allegedly leaving her house on Apr 29, was also found to have dismissed her.

Espiritu had claimed only a total of $3,594.20 against Hui for allegedly dismissing her without notice on May 3.

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Presiding Officer David Chum said the employer was willing to pay Espiritu’s claim of $1,721.40 in arrears in wages, $100 food and travel allowance, and $1,772.80 for an air ticket, items that were unsettled in their previous meeting at the Tribunal.

Chum said Hui was also refunding $500 of a $700 deduction she made from Espiritu’s salary for what she called an advanced holiday on Apr 23-27, when she and her husband were on a holiday.

But the Filipina declared that on those days, she was made to work in the house of Hui’s mother, as was the practice each time the couple went on holiday.
Chum said that was a breach of Espiritu’s condition of stay. He reminded her that if she was taken to a place other then her employer’s address to work there, that would be a criminal offense.

Going to the main issue, Espiritu said she was fired without written notice on May 3, while Hui accused her of leaving the house without notice on Apr 29.

“I told her she must complete her contract. She just gave me $700 for the holiday she took. She left the house on Apr 29 and I never saw her again,” the employer said.
Chum told Hui that he has an Immigration document, a notice of termination that the employer signed on May 3 stating that the helper left on May 29.

Hui’s husband, in the gallery butted in and gave the woman instructions in Putonghua. Chum paused and scolded the man, warning him that if he interrupted again, he would charge him with contempt of court. The man kept silent.

The presiding officer then warned Hui she could be charged criminally for misrepresentation for putting the last working day as May 29. Hui said she had already written Immigration about that on May 3 but did not give the Tribunal a copy.

Chum said the fact was Hui fired her maid on Apr 29 and put the date as May 3. By doing so, Hui was allowing the maid to work illegally in the underground market. He said if the case proceeds to trial, the problem would come out it could reach Immigration.

He advised the two parties to discuss and resolve their dispute. After several minutes of discussion, Hui agreed to pay her former maid a total of $5,000, more than what she was claiming.
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