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OFW Jailed For Doing Good

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who helped her sick employer by working at the family food shop, without expecting extra pay in return, was sent to prison by a Hong Kong judge.

The defendant was sentenced at the Sha Tin Magistrates’ Court on March 19 to six weeks in prison for working illegally for her employer, who was suffering from cancer.

During the hearing, the defendant said that her employer asked her to help with the family food shop because of her illness. The OFW said she did not regard the work as an employee but rather as a good gesture with an intention to help her employer. She also did not expect any extra pay or benefits by doing it.

“It was simply to help her employer who was feeling unwell that day,” her defense lawyer said.

The Filipina was arrested at the shop last December 12.

The lawyer asked Deputy Magistrate Cheng Yu-kit to suspend the jail sentence. However, the magistrate said imprisonment was the usual sentence for illegal work, though he accepted that the defendant had committed the offense out of the goodness of heart.

Foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are not allowed to take other forms or employment out of what is stated in their contracts.

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