March 21, 2013

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

WOODSIDE, NY – Filipinos Jheng Munda and Randy Bendo are among a group of physical therapists suing their former employer — Mamaroneck Physical Therapy P.C. and their owners Melody and Christopher Bautista for wage theft.

A court complaint shows that a number of current and former employees of the Bautistas were allegedly not properly paid regular and overtime wages, despite working more than 40 hours a week.

Munda said, “Nung una medyo OK yung pasuweldo, hangang ma-late ng one month, hanggang male-late siya ng two months tapos sasabihin niya sa Friday, sa Saturday everyday of the week, i-pro-promise.”

Munda says she worked at the Bautistas’ client-facility more than eight hours a day from Monday to Saturday, averaging about 52 hours a week.

For about four months, Munda and Bendo said they were not paid, so they resigned.

Bendo said, “Sasabihin niya na nadelay lang ‘yung collection pero alam naman na patuloy silang nagbabayad. Alam namin na pag sinisingil namin siya na may pera siya.”

Munda said, “Dumating talaga sa point na, ultimo pang grocery namin, mangungutang na kami, maglalakad na kami papunta sa work.”

Court documents show that Mamaroneck PT allegedly failed to pay Munda $25,431 and Bendo $27,360 of back pay and overtime wages.

Balitang America called Mamaroneck PT’s, which is now called the Physical Therapy Associates of Queens for comment but has not received a response at this time.

Munda, Bendo and others are now asking the court for a default judgment in their favor after the defendants failed to answer.

Munda said, “Yung mga Pilipino kasi rito, masyado tayong trusting eh, masyadong mababait ang mga Pilipino.”

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