Taichung District Prosecutors Office, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A 64-year-old woman in Taichung, a city in west-central Taiwan, was charged by the Taichung District Prosecutors Office on Thursday after allegedly exploiting an Indonesian worker by forcing her to work at a factory for more than 10 hours a day and complete domestic chores after work.

The woman employed an Indonesian named Linda from November 21, 2016, to February 24 last year to do packaging at her factory in Taiping district, Taichung, the United Daily News reported.

Linda, who was working in Taiwan for the first time, told prosecutors that she had to work at the factory for 11 and a half hours on weekdays, eight hours on Saturdays and eight and a half hours on Sundays.

On top of that, she also had to do domestic chores at the employee hostel or the employer’s personal residence. The defendant would get physical or threaten to fire the worker whenever she considered the Indonesian was not doing her chores quickly enough.

The Indonesian woman allegedly suffered this maltreatment for three months. During that period, she received only NT$32,752 (US$1,100), less than the NT$50,372 she should have been paid based on the government’s minimum wage requirement.

Linda thus called Taiwan’s 24-hour hotline for foreign workers for assistance.

The defendant admitted that she had not given her worker any overtime pay, but she claimed that Linda had not worked more than eight hours a day from Monday to Friday, and Saturdays and Sundays had been assigned as her rest days.

However, a preliminary police investigation appeared to confirm that the worker had been telling the truth, and thus the employer was charged with violating the Human Trafficking Prevention Act.

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