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DH filmed doing prohibited window cleaning seeks $46k for ‘illegal firing’

03 January 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

The Filipina is seeking payment for unearned income, rest days and meal allowance

A Filipina domestic worker who was filmed cleaning the outside part of the window in her employer’s flat is claiming nearly $46,000 in damages stemming from her alleged illegal termination.

Nerie Mier raised her claim on Friday, Jan 3, from the original $3,759.90 she filed in April last year, after adding her unearned salary for the time she had been unable to work while her case was pending in the Labour Tribunal.
Mier’s decision to jack up her damage claim against her former employer, Ip Kam-tim Garfield, prompted Tribunal officer Michael Lok to adjourn the case until Monday.

Earlier, Mier said that on Feb 26 last year, Ip told her to pack her things, leave the house and go to the employment agency that deployed her.

Since that day, Mier said she had not been able to work because of an Immigration prohibition on her taking on a job as her case was not yet resolved.
She said as her case dragged on for nearly a year, her farmer husband and their two children were suffering because she could not send them money.

Mier also claimed for unpaid rest days and meal allowance, saying she and another helper in the household were only given leftovers, so they often just ate noodles.

But the employer rejected Mier’s claim about being fired, saying the helper handed him a resignation letter on Feb 15, 2019 citing her soured relationship with her co-worker and Ip’s wife.

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Ip also disclosed the Consulate had called him because it had received a video showing Mier cleaning the exterior of his flat’s window, a task banned by Hong Kong since 2018.

Officer Lok called for a break in the trial to allow Ip to make copies of the helper’s documents. But when the case resumed in the afternoon, Mier suddenly asked to amend her damage claim to $45,931 to cover her jobless period until the date of trial.

The hearing of Mier’s claim began last September but stalled on the damages issue. At the time, Mier accepted $2,465 from Ip as payment for her wages in lieu of notice for Feb 26 to Mar 15 last year.
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