Filipina maid sues boss for making her clean outside of high-rise window

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window
File photograph of a similar incident that went viral online in 2017.

A Filipina maid has filed a case against her employer for forcing her to clean the outside of a window on the 19th floor of a Hong Kong high-rise.

Nerie R Mier has accused her female boss of forcing her to clean the window even though she said it made her feel unwell and “so dizzy”.

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According to a report Asia One today (Tuesday, June 4) the incident occurred on February 19. 

As we have previously reported, there was a spate of domestic helpers falling to their deaths from Hong Kong apartments in 2016. This led the city state’s labour department to set new clauses regarding window cleaning rules, which took effect on January 1, 2017.

Under these regulations, only windows with locked or secured grills should be cleaned by domestic staff, unless the window is located on the ground floor or next to a balcony. No part of a person’s body should be extended outside the window beyond the ledge, except for arms.

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However, Mier recorded a video of her cleaning the window so her family would know what had been forced to do should she fall. In the video, she can be seen with her leg propped up on the windowsill as she cleaned from the outside.

“I had no choice because I was still new and I was afraid that I will be terminated that early…” she said in her report. “I was afraid so I resisted… because I was not feeling well and felt so dizzy. I told her of my feeling but she insisted.”

Mier sent the video to her husband, who sent it to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office. It was then reported to Hong Kong’s labour department.

Mier’s employers terminated her contract within days of the alleged incident coming to light. 

The case at Hong Kong’s Labour Tribunal has been postponed until June 21.

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