OFW with Stage 3 ‘Big C’ Terminated from Job, Loses Access to Healthcare

A single mom with 5 kids encountered a medical problem while working in Hong Kong, but after she was terminated from her job, she faces new problems as she no longer has means to support her family. She also lost access to healthcare, rendering this poor woman helpless.

Baby Jane Allas is just 38 years old. She was diagnosed with stage 3 ‘big C’ last January. Instead of helping her, however, her employers were quick to get rid of her and terminated her as fast as they possibly could, citing her medical condition as the reason for the termination.

Photo credit: Go Get Funding

While the employers were really just being honest about terminating Baby Jane so they could find a suitable replacement, many are calling them heartless for dropping the domestic helper like a hot potato.

I want to finish my contract… because I have five children, only me, I am (a) single mother,” the poor overseas Filipino worker (OFW) said.

The termination is unjust and could be considered to be against the law; thus, Baby Jane is filing charges against her employer. But she is racing against the clock because she only had 2 weeks to leave Hong Kong because she no longer has an employer. Unless she finds a new one willing to accept her despite her condition, then Baby Jane really has to go back to the Philippines.

With no access to healthcare in Hong Kong and no means to also pay for medical care in the Philippines, the OFW is hoping she would be able to receive compensation from the unjust termination.

Photo credit: Inquirer

Baby Jane had been working for a family of Pakistani origin for over a year before she was hurriedly terminated after they learned about her condition. But even before then, she had already been treated badly by the family who lets her sleep on a thin comforter in the store room and only gives her leftovers as food. She doesn’t even enjoy her day off.

Baby Jane in 2017; Photo credit: Go Get Funding

Thankfully, her sister had a better fate after finding a job with an American family. It was actually the boss of Baby Jane’s sister Mary Ann that is helping them raise money for her medical needs and also find a way to file charges against her former employers.

The said boss, Jessica Cutrera, launched a fundraising for Baby Jane and has received over $43,000 in donations offline as well as more than $417,000 on Got Get Funding. Jessica said that the family would have gladly hired the poor woman under a new contract but her advanced stage diagnosis meant she was no longer allowed by the Hong Kong government to find a new job.

Under Hong Kong law, Baby Jane’s employers are supposed to cover her medical expenses but they have ‘gotten away’ by terminating her from the job.

Jessica shared that they were able to obtain a special visa for Baby Jane so she could still stay despite the 2-week deadline so she could monitor the charges against her former employers. However, even with the extension she is not actually allowed to avail of government paid healthcare.

Baby Jane and Mary Anne; Photo credit: Go Get Funding

Mission for Migrant Workers general manager Cynthia Abdon-Tellez hopes that the Hong Kong government will step in and help the OFW.

It is the responsibility of the government to ensure migrant domestic workers have access to public healthcare regardless of employment status, because cases of wrongful termination are not uncommon,” she explained.

Baby Jane’s sister Mary Ann is now supporting the sick OFW and her family as she feels ‘broken’ by her sister’s plight.