Baby Jane Allas wins $30,000 at Labour Tribunal
Although she is suffering from stage 3 cancer, a 38-year-old Filipino domestic worker who was fired by her boss after being diagnosed with the ailment went to the Labour Tribunal this morning and won $30,000 after the camp of her former employer decided to settle.
Labour Tribunal Principal Presiding Officer Eric Tam awarded the amount to Baby Jane Allas, who has cervical cancer, after the representative of her former employer, Jamil Bushra, agreed to it.
Tam said Allas could still get a “substantial amount” if she pursues her claim against her employer with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) for wrongful termination and loss of earnings.
“For any substantial compensation, it should come from your EOC claim,” Tam told the Filipino worker.
“She still has the right to make a claim under the EOC,” he added.
The $30,000 was for Allas’ claim for wages in lieu of notice, sick leave allowance, wages, medical fees, air ticket, and travel expenses. She initially asked for $46,383.55 from her former employer but later agreed to the $30,000 settlement.
Allas urged other foreign domestic workers who are suffering in the hands of their employers to come forward and file a complaint.
“I am standing here now to encourage more workers to come out if they have these kinds,” she told reporters outside the tribunal after the hearing while surrounded by her family and supporters.
Allas was fired in January while she was on sick leave after she was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. She said she also suffered while working for Bushra.
“Hindi ako binigyan ng tamang tulugan at pagkain. Pinapatulogn ako sa illaim ng hagdan na pag araw ay storage,” she told the court. She had previously said that she was given only stale leftovers.
Allas also said that she was not given full rest days because she would leave only at 9 a.m. of her day off.
“Kailangan ko muna ilakad yung aso at pakainin. Kailangan ko rin makabalik ng 8 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. Kailangan kong magtrabaho kasi every weekend meron silang family gathering,” she said.
Bushra was not able to attend the hearing because she was pregnant and instead sent her brother-in-law, who tearfully claimed that they had treated Allas as part of their family.
He said they had to let go of Allas because they needed a domestic worker who could help Bushra during her pregnancy and her father who had a heart ailment.
During the first part of the hearing, one of Allas’ supporters walked out of the courtroom when Tam raised his voice while asking questions for the claimant.
“She has stage (3) cancer! This is disgusting. I am leaving the court,” the woman said before storming out.
Allas’ supporters, particularly the employer of her sister, had raised more than $900,000 so that she could continue with her cancer treatment here in Hong Kong while pursuing her case against her former employer.