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Filipina, employer in dog-bite case argue over who terminated contract

10 November 2023


The case is being heard at the Labour Tribunal

A Filipino domestic helper and her employer have found themselves facing off at the Labor Tribunal over who should pay the one-month salary in lieu of notice after they argued and parted ways at the Shan Kwong Road Park in Happy Valley.

Aiza Tenorio claimed she was constructively terminated, but her employer Chong Hui Sai Stephanie countered she resigned “out of the blue.”

In a two-day trial that ended today, they each presented their case to Deputy Presiding Officer Jennifer Ng over who should pay the $6,000 that both Tenorio and Chong claimed they should be paid by the other.


Their dispute arose from an argument that erupted after an unleashed dog attacked the two dogs that Tenorio and her employer were walking last Feb. 10. After the attacking dog was pulled by its owner and Tenorio tried to control one of her employer’s dogs, named Seal, it bit her arm.

Chong even took pictures of the bite, using Tenorio’s phone.

They then argued over which dog bit her, with Chong insisting it was the other dog. “If you don’t follow me,” Tenorio quoted Chong, “it is better to fire yourself.”

Pindutin para sa detalye

Tenor answered: “Okay, I fire myself.  Take Seal.”

But Chong said, “No, not now because I will call the Police first.”

Chong took the leash of the two dogs and left Tenorio in the park.  As she had nothing in her pocket at that time, Tenorio said she had to borrow money for the taxi ride home to her employer’s house in Hong Kong Parkview, where she found three police officers waiting and told her she was being accused by Chong of stealing $30,000 worth of “European currencies”.


When Tenorio packed her belongings and her employer checked them in front of a security guard, not finding her missing money, she went to Ruttonjee Hospital for treatment and reported the dog-biting incident to police.

In her summing up, Tenorio said, “I was not safe in my workplace because of (the behavior) she showed me after I was bitten.”

The same dog had also bitten another domestic helper at Parkview on Nov. 30, and Tenorio said she was told by Chong to advise the victim to seek treatment from a private clinic instead of a government hospital so it would not be reported.  


Now she faces the risk of being fined $10,000 for not reporting the this dog-biting incident, being Seal’s handler, because the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has charged both of them at the Eastern Court of violating the Anti-Rabies Ordinance.

“She put me at risk,” Tenorio added.

For her part, Chong said the reason Tenorio brought the case to the Tribunal was “to make me look bad” and to stay in Hong Kong longer.


She added that the case would not have reached the court had Tenorio accepted her offer of $4,700 as her salary and a plane ticket home. “The money is with the court,” she added.

“You took me to court instead of taking your money and moving on,” she added.

Chong said Tenorio used to be happy working for her family.

She said treated her helper as part of the family, ate with her, walked the dogs with her, sometimes cooked for her, allowed her to bring friends to her home, and even paid for her driving lessons “so she would have a better future in our family.”

The tribunal officer will hand down her decision on Dec. 5. 


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