Employer Settles $72,000 Unpaid Wages Of Filipina Brought From HK to USA

A Filipina nanny who was brought by her employers to the United States from Hong Kong has received a settlement amount after she sued her employers for unpaid wages and stolen tax deductions.

Maricel Cachero Cano was told to accompany her bosses Nicolas and Heidi Lee. However, she soon found out that her employers who deducted $10,000 for her tax obligations failed to remit them to the IRS, Social Security and Medicare, court records show.

Cano brought her case in August last year to New York employment lawyer John Howley for stolen tax deductions.

“Akala niya binabayad yung buwis. Lumabas pala na hindi, so nakabawas siya sa sweldo niya. Pangalawa, yung mga trinabaho niya na lampas sa working hours niya na hindi siya binayaran so heto yung hinabol namin base sa batas,” said special counsel Leandro Lachica.

“What made this case very interesting is after we looked at the tax issue, we also looked at how she was being paid,” said legal counsel John Howley. “And she wasn’t paid for all the time she had worked.”

Aside from unpaid overtime wages, court documents also show that Cano was not given full 24 consecutive hours of rest each week.

According to Howley, workers under NYC labor law are entitled to full 24 hours off. Otherwise, they will be paid for the day and at overtime rate. Howley said the case was resolved in no time and the amount of unpaid wages were easily accounted for, thanks to the Filipina nanny’s diaries.

“She was very smart. She kept a notebook, and she wrote down everything she did everyday,” he said. “She wrote down what time she did it, so we had a detailed summary of everything she did.”

Both parties agreed to a settlement of $72,000 (P3.6 million) for both the stolen paycheck deductions as well as unpaid wages and overtime.

Maricel, who declined to be interviewed on camera, plans to continue working in the US after receiving the biggest pay day of her life.