A crowdfunding campaign launched over the weekend for a 38-year-old Filipina domestic worker who was fired by her Hong Kong employer after being diagnosed with cancer has already raised HK$770,000 (US$98,094).
As of Tuesday, 1,200 backers had pledged funds for Baby Jane Teodoro Allas, easily surpassing the target of HK$650,000, according to crowdfunding website Go Get Funding.
Allas arrived in Hong Kong in 2017 and was diagnosed with aggressive Stage 3 cancer in January this year. Her employer terminated her contract in February while she was on sick leave.
The end of Allas’ contract meant she was unable to access public healthcare services in the city, which could cost as high as HK$1 million.
Jessica Cutrera, who is the employer of Allas’ sister Mary Ann, also a domestic worker in Hong Kong, offered Allas a place to stay, took on her legal and medical cases, and launched the crowdfunding campaign.
According to the fundraising website, Cutrera said Allas could start chemo and radiation therapy this week.
The first hearing with the Labour Department over her claim against her former employer has also been scheduled for this week, with the Labour Department saying they will provide necessary assistance to the worker, Oriental Daily reported.
The department emphasized that an employer is prohibited from terminating an employee’s contract on a paid sickness day, except in cases of summary dismissal due to the employee’s serious misconduct.
An employer who contravenes the provision is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of HK$100,000.