Filipino caregivers in San Francisco win 800K settlement over lost wages

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Dec. 27, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – It took years for them to get justice. But these Filipino caregivers said it was worth the wait. Twenty-five Filipino caregivers from Sunset Gardens and Nacario’s Home of San Francisco, both Filipino-owned, and Veal’s Residential Care Home, filed wage theft claims against their employers.

After a few months, they received settlement agreements totaling more than $800,000. The Filipino Community Center (FCC) helped them file their claims before the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Rowena Bonifacio said she was only paid $1,500 a month to care for multiple senior patients, 12 hours a day, at least five days a week. “We would start from 6 am to 6 pm. But our salary did not reflect the work that we provided our employer,” she said.

Mimi Luis was in a similar situation and she said the days were sometimes never-ending. “Sometimes, we would sleep as late as 2 am. Sometimes, we would not sleep at all. But our employer did not give us overtime pay.”

Despite the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in California this year, advocates said many caregivers are still not paid proper wages and benefits. With this settlement, they hope more abused workers will be inspired to come forward and fight for against abuse.

“This is a great victory for them. This is countless hours of unpaid work, that’s finally being acknowledged and being paid back by these employers,” said Mario de Mira, coordinator for the FCC.

“I’m really happy that we were given help. I’m really happy that we were given what we deserve,” Bonifacio expressed.

One of the Filipino-owned carehomes involved in this settlement has already been closed by its owners. Balitang America is still trying to get their side of the story.

Caregivers who feel they are not paid proper wages and benefits, may contact the FCC for help at (415) 333-6267.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Kikay Pang0
    28 December 2013 at 4:03 am - Reply

    Avoid being employed by Filipino and avoid hiring Filipinos , its like eating bad Oreo cookies….. they don’t get along sometimes.

  • HELLO
    29 December 2013 at 8:35 am - Reply

    That’s what happens when you do bottom jobs, they pay you like how they feel about you! When you come from a country that is poor, they don’t look at you like how when born in America ? If you come from a 3nd world country they look at you like you don’t care, they pay you the small wages, long hours for cheap pay, and a lot the company is sometimes own by filipinos ! If you work for one get out check with the labors law right away, so they can call the FBI to check it out and close them down !

    • Steve
      29 December 2013 at 11:47 am - Reply

      If you “come” from?

      a “3nd” world country? – this is not a typing error. Letters “r” and “n” are far from each other.

      …a lot of “company is”?

      Check your english idiot or go back to school.

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