A Filipina domestic worker is seeking compensation from her former employer after his wife allegedly beat her up just on the sixth day of her employment.
A hearing at the Labour Tribunal had been set August 11 on the claim filed by Jen-jen Gambol, 24, against her male employer, W.H. Tang. Gambol is claiming HK$106,630 for unpaid salary, injuries and loss of earning capacity.
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 HK$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.
In her police statement, Gambol said she was ironing clothes in the bedroom one evening 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.
Instead, the wife allegedly rose and pulled her maid’s 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 managed to parry 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 wife also reportedly told Gambol to handwash more of her clothes. But soon as the domestic worker complied, the woman 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 claimed.
When the employer’s wife went to work the following day, Gambol, upon the advice of a Filipina who works within the same estate, called 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 later took her to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei for medical check up.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office has blacklisted the employer and helped the maid prepare for her Tribunal appearance as the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration gave her money for her visa extension.