Do you remember the Filipina domestic helper who was dismissed from her work after being diagnosed with cancer last January? Well, she wins her first legal battle after the Hong Kong court awarded damages to her.
The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) is Baby Jane Allas, a 38-year-old single mother of five, who was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer earlier this year. She was mercilessly fired by her Pakistani origin employer the following month because of her condition.
After being terminated, she lost her right to healthcare and has had regularly apply for visa extension she navigated Hong Kong’s legal and immigration systems while battling cancer. She has been undergoing radiation therapy five days a week, along with chemotherapy one day a week.
On court proceedings, last Monday, April 15, Allas and her employer reached a settlement of HK30,000 ($3,800) at Hong Kong’s labor tribunal for sickness allowance, medical fees and wages in lieu of notice. Her employer was absent in the proceedings and being presented by a legal counsel.
“I am standing here right now to encourage more workers to come out if they have these kinds of cases,” Allas said outside the hearing.
She has separately filed claims with the Equal Opportunities Commission for wrongful termination and loss of earnings, which could be brought to the city’s District Court.
Allas spent just over a year working for a family of Pakistani origin who ordered her to work every day of the week. She has also said she was routinely given stale leftovers to eat and slept on a thin comforter in a cluttered storeroom.
The OFW is now hoping to find another employer who can understand her situation and can treat her well in spite of her condition.