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Sex discrimination in Hong Kong: Domestic worker sues former employer for forced pregnancy test

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An Indonesian domestic helper is suing her former employers for firing her and forcing her out of their home prematurely — after forcing her to take a pregnancy test.

30-year old Waliyah claims her employers forced her to urinate in a child’s potty in October 2013, then seven-months pregnant, according to a report by the South China Morning Post. She testified that the test was performed when her employers noticed that her tummy was growing.

Her contract was later terminated and she was made to leave her employer’s home in Kowloon within three weeks, well within the one-month’s notice required by law.

Former employers Terence Yip Hoi-sun, and his then wife Chan Man-hong may face criminal charges, should the judge rule in favour of Waliyah, according to Barrister Earl Deng in a District Court hearing on March 9. Judge Alex Lee Wan-tang however suggests that as the incident took place more than two years ago, criminal prosecution may be overdue.

Waliyah worked for Yip and Chan for a year and a half before she was allegedly forced to leave prematurely, violating her employment contract, the Employment Ordinance and the Sex Discrimination Ordinance.

Yip was absent at the hearing as he could not be located. Chan alone attended the hearing, and claimed that Waliyah was willing to leave earlier.

Chan claimed she was unwell, after near-heaving throughout the proceedings. Being unable to continue due to her medication, the Judge asked Chan to see a doctor and provide proof of her condition.

This is the first time that a pregnant foreign domestic worker has filed for sex discrimination against an employer over a forced pregnancy test, according to Waliyah’s law firm Vidler & Co., Solicitors. The firm is led by Solicitor Advocate Michael Vidler, a resident of Discovery Bay and known human rights attorney.

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