A 38-year-old Filipina domestic worker was fired by her employer while she was on sick leave due to cervical cancer she had been diagnosed with in Hong Kong.
Baby Jane Teodoro Allas, who arrived in Hong Kong in 2017, was diagnosed with aggressive Stage 3 cancer on January 20 after she started bleeding heavily late last year, according to a report on news website cnn.com.
The doctor signed her sick leave certificate until February 18. On February 17, Allas’ employer terminated her employment contract, stating the reason as diagnosed with cervical cancer. She begged her employer not to do so, but failed.
The termination of her contract means an end to Allas’ working visa in Hong Kong and she will have to leave the city within two weeks. It also means the worker would no longer have access to public healthcare services in the city.
If she needed to be treated in a Hong Kong hospital, the medical fees could go up to HK$1 million (US$127,000). Allas’ sister Mary Ann is also working in Hong Kong. Mary Ann’s employer Jessica Cutrera offered a place for Allas and took on her legal and medical cases.
Allas has filed a complaint with the Labor Department, alleging that her employers violated the Employment Ordinance, which makes it illegal to dismiss an employee who is on paid sick leave.
She also complained that she did not have a day off and was not provided with a bed, sleeping in a storage cupboard on a blanket in the two-story house in Yuen Long.
Allas also filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission on the grounds of discrimination over her illness. Due to the legal cases, the Immigration Department extended Allas’ visa until March 20.