HK employer who sacked OFW with cancer sued

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District Court


A Hong Kong employer who allegedly sacked a Filipino domestic worker who had cancer and sent her out in the streets after midnight was accused of disability discrimination at the District Court.

Rita Choy Chiu Yee was sued by Ma. Clara Temporosa, who filed the claim on Oct. 4 on behalf of her late friend, helper Joan Sarmiento Guting, who died of cervical cancer in August 2018, according to a statement from Vidler & Co. Solicitors, the claimant’s lawyers.

Temporosa alleged that Choy discriminated against Guting on the basis of her terminal medical condition “when, after learning of Ms. Guting’s illness in March 2017, she treated her differently.”

The employer allegedly communicated with Guting only in writing, ignored the helper, installed a CCTV camera in her residence, refused to provide Guting with sufficient food or the alternative food allowance.

The employer also allegedly made Guting wash her own clothes although Choy had a washing machine. And upon learning that the helper used the kitchen on one occasion, the employer allegedly threw away the utensils that Guting used.

Then on May 1, 2017, a few days after the helper received treatment for her cancer and related medical conditions, the employer woke up Guting at 12:30 am and gave her a termination letter, the statement said.

Choy allegedly used rubber gloves to pack up Guting’s personal belongings and then turned her out into the streets at 1.30 am. Guting was still wearing her night clothes, the statement added.

It said the employer had employed Guting starting January 2015 and then renewed her contract in December 2016.

Temporosa asked the District Court to declare that Choy unlawfully discriminated against Guting and order her to write an apology to the helper’s three children who are minors. She is also asking for damages for direct discrimination and discriminatory harassment.

The first hearing is scheduled on December 18 at 9:30 am at Court No. 6 of the District Court.