A Filipina domestic worker had her contract terminated after a complaint was filed to the Labor Department against her employer for allegedly forcing her to clean a window of the flat from the outside.
Nerie R Mier accused her female employer of forcing her to clean the window from the outside of their apartment on 19th floor at the luxury housing estate Hong Kong Parkview in Tai Tam on Hong Kong Island, hongknognews.com.hk reported. The report added that the maid said she was feeling sick and “so dizzy” when cleaning the window.
Hong Kong banned the practice of foreign domestic workers cleaning the windows of high-rise apartments from the outside in 2017.
According to Assistant Labor Attache Antonio R Villafuerte, Mier was instructed by a fellow Filipino worker on how to clean the windows. After that, she was the one designated to do the cleaning job. Mier said she was afraid but could not refuse because she might lose her job.
On February 19, her employer’s wife allegedly told her to clean the window, “opposite the dining table,” from the outside. Mier suggested she do it later as it was humid outside, but the women insisted, adding that her husband wanted it to be clean.
The following day, her female employer allegedly asked Mier to clean the window “opposite the boys’ study room.” Mier claimed she was not feeling well and felt dizzy and told the female employer about her illness. However, the woman allegedly insisted the cleaning had to be done.
Then, Mier decided to take a video of her cleaning. She did so in case something happened to her and her family would know the truth. Mier sent the video to her husband, who later sent it to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO). POLO reported the case to the Labor Department.
On February 26, the employer fired her. Villafuerte said Mier’s was a test case and the first since the window-cleaning ban. Mier’s male employer did not attend the last hearing at the Labour Tribunal. The case was adjourned to June 21.