A Filipina domestic worker filed a claim for HK$250,000 (US$31,871) in compensation on Friday with the District Court in Hong Kong for injuries she suffered while cleaning her employer’s apartment.
Cherry – not her real name – appeared before Judge Katina Levy to apply for leave to amend her address in her application for employee compensation more than two years after the accident, sunwebhk.com reported.
She claimed she injured both her feet when a loose glass shelf fell on her insteps while she was cleaning a steel rack in the house of her employer on October 9, 2016. It was her rest day when the accident happened, she said.
The maid had been with the employer for only one month at the time. Cherry said she was bleeding profusely and could not stand and walk after the accident, but the employer, who was in her bedroom when the accident happened, allegedly ignored her cries for help.
She said she had to crawl to the employer’s room and asked to be taken to a hospital, but the female employer allegedly scolded her for being careless and blamed her for the accident.
Her male employer took her to a hospital where her wounds were stitched and treated for two days.
On the third day in the hospital, the employer allegedly sent an ambulance service crew to fetch her and take her back to her flat. As she was still unable to walk, her employer allegedly told her to stay in her room but did not give her food or water. The maid survived on biscuits and milk she had bought.
After her second day back in the flat, the employer allegedly told her to write her resignation letter because she would not be able to work. Cherry said she resisted at first, telling the employer to fire her instead so she would pay her one month’s wage, but the employer reportedly refused to fire her.
Cherry said she wrote a resignation letter fearing she would die without food and medical care. Cherry said it was the employer who added the last sentence, putting October 12, 2016, as the effective date of her termination.
Cherry’s sister-in-law and friends from the Jesus Is Lord church picked her up and sent her to the JIL shelter. The Filipina took her case to the Labour Department, which elevated it to the Labour Tribunal because the employer refused to settle.
The worker said the court awarded only her claim for a plane ticket and advised her to file her civil claim for compensation in the District Court. No date has been set for a hearing as the claimant was still awaiting the result of her application for Legal Aid.