You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Hong Kong domestic worker fired for cancer awarded damages

AFP  |  Hong Kong 

A sacked after a cancer diagnosis was awarded damages by a court Monday, in a case that highlighted exploitation of foreign women toiling as maids in the wealthy financial hub.

Baby of the was diagnosed with stage three cervical cancer in January and fired the following month by her employer, who cited the illness as the reason for termination.

The 38-year-old single mother of five instantly lost the right to and has had to regularly apply for visa extensions as she navigated Hong Kong's legal and while battling cancer.

She has been undergoing therapy five days a week, along with one day a week.

Allas and her former employer -- who was absent from Monday's proceedings -- reached a settlement of HK30,000 ($3,800) at Hong Kong's labour tribunal for sickness allowance, medical fees and wages in lieu of notice.

"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.

Allas added she hoped to find another employer "who can really understand my situation and treat me well".

She has separately filed claims with the for wrongful termination and loss of earnings, which could be brought to the city's

Allas previously told AFP that she 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 store room.

Nearly 370,000 domestic helpers work in the city. Most are poor women from the and performing menial tasks for low wages while living in often miserable conditions.

Allas was accompanied to Monday's hearing by supporters and family, including her eight-year-old daughter, who clung to her waist.

Her plight has generated widespread sympathy in and a fundraising campaign organised by her sister's employer, Jessica Cutrera, has so far raised more than HK$900,000 for treatment.

A large part of Allas' medical bills have been covered by hospital charities but expensive surgery will likely be needed to operate on her tumours, said Cutrera.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 15:15 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU