In cases where foreign workers are faced in situations caused by injustice or abuse, we know that there will always be government agencies and organizations willing to lend a helping hand, especially to foreign domestic workers which make up 5% of Hong Kong’s entire population.
However, in cases where the victim is accused of making up allegations against the defendant, further investigations will be required to determine who will be held liable by the law.
Foreign Worker Denies Making Up Harassment Claims Vs Employer
Such is the case of a Filipina domestic helper who informed the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court that she did not make up claims that her male employer indecently assaulted her, as shared in a report by Asia Times.
The lawyer defending the employer claimed that the 43-year-old Filipina, identified as X, plotted to frame the defendant – Lau Sui-wo, 45, because he scolded her over her poor performance at work, and had wanted to leave the house without being fired.
According to the defendant, X’s poor performance included burning clothes while ironing, burning the alarm clock as well as the mattress, and burning the food when she had forgotten to turn off the hot plates after cooking.
There was also an instance when the defendant reprimanded the domestic worker when he had found out that she had forgotten to switch off the humidifier, telling her it was very dangerous and could start a fire.
However, X denied the allegations, but admitted to making mishaps while ironing and the incident with the humidifier.
The defense lawyer pointed out that X had made up the indecent assault allegation because she did not want to be fired after learning from the agency staff that her employer had wanted to replace her with another domestic worker.
The court was also informed that the defendant was X’s third employer since she came to work in Hong Kong. X had been terminated by her former employer prior to working for the defendant.
The defense lawyer also claimed that X’s statements were different from what she had reported to people at church, the police, and at the court hearing including the date, site, and manner in which the alleged assaults were performed.
However, X told the court that she did not make up stories to malign her employer, and that she had only been too scared when the police officers interviewed her.
Whoever is found lying in this case may further be held liable to court, and face more stringent sanctions as decided by the court.