The Labor Tribunal in Hong Kong. Photo: Google Maps

A Labour Tribunal has returned a verdict in support of a Filipina domestic worker who filed a maltreatment claim against her employer.

Joy Verzola, 24, who was a newcomer to migrant work, said she walked out after working for the family for only 16 days because she had been assaulted by the employer’s wife, the sunwebhk.com reported.

Presiding officer of the tribunal Eric Tam backed the domestic worker and ordered employer Liu Chung Hang to pay HK$3,452 (US$440) for wages in arrears, including HK$1,200 for a one-way ticket home and HK$100 in travel and food allowance.

Liu at first refused to pay the wages and demanded that he be paid a month’s pay in lieu of notice because Verzola broke their contract.

But Tam told Liu that the worker had the right to terminate the contract if, as she had claimed, she was assaulted by the employer’s wife. Liu told the officer that the worker had made up some of the charges.

The domestic worker said that the first incidence of assault came when the employer’s wife allegedly pulled her hair, hit her hands and grabbed her by the back of the neck. Verzola reported the incident to her employment agency and they in turn talked to her employers.

On May 4, the female employer again pulled the worker’s hair. Verzola called the police, and although they took her statement she did not press charges.

At that point Verzola broke her work contract and moved to the Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge.

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