Date
22 September 2017
Rowena Uychiat (inset) is shown during a press conference in May. An employers group wants the government to blacklist domestic helpers who make up charges against their employers. Photos: HKEJ, http://hongkongnews.com.hk
Rowena Uychiat (inset) is shown during a press conference in May. An employers group wants the government to blacklist domestic helpers who make up charges against their employers. Photos: HKEJ, http://hongkongnews.com.hk

Helper abuse charges thrown out against HK employer

A Hong Kong employer has been cleared of charges she assaulted her Filipino helper and withheld her wages, Apple Daily reported Monday.

The case stemmed from allegations of abuse and breach of contract by Rowena Uychiat, 37, which captivated local and international media.

After the ruling, the employer said she had been diagnosed with depression and is still haunted by the legal drama because of its widespread media coverage.

Her husband said he had spent HK$100,000 (US$12,891) to gather evidence of his wife’s innocence.

In May, Uychiat told a press conference that she had been slapped, kicked, verbally abused and had her hair pulled by her employer.

Also, she said she had been forced to work 21 hours a day without a day off and made to sleep in the kitchen.

The employer’s husband said he helped gather evidence to disprove Uychiat’s claims and show she had not been doing her job.

The couple said they hired Uychiat last year and quickly found that she was not up to the task.

They warned her twice and eventually decided to terminate her contract but she pleaded with them and they agreed to give her another chance, the report said.

He said Uychiat had been portrayed as a heroine by foreign domestic workers organisations and had even received donations of HK$20,000.

She might have made up the facts to frame his wife, he said.

Chui Hiu-tung of the Support Group for HK Employers with Foreign Domestic Helper said filing unfounded charges against employers is a form of bullying.

Chui urged the government to blacklist domestic helpers who have made trumped-up charges against their employers.

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