Solicitor sues maid who 'didn't salt macaroni'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 September, 2005, 12:00am

A solicitor is suing the Filipino maid she fired after two weeks for failing to meet expectations, including not using salt when boiling macaroni.

Lau Siu-foon has filed a writ in the District Court against Maria Lowela Brimon Banilbo and the maid's cousin, Ofelia B. Regis.

Ms Lau is seeking to recover from Ms Banilbo and her cousin $3,724 - covering the employment agency fee, foreign domestic helper levy and helper insurance.

She is also seeking from both unspecified damages for having to perform household chores herself for 42 days until the arrival of another helper after sacking Ms Banilbo on July 9.

Ms Lau claims in the writ that she lives with her husband, Jeremiah Yau Chung-wo, and two daughters, aged nine and seven.

She alleges that in April Ms Regis recommended her cousin, Maria, to her while she was looking for a domestic helper.

According to the writ, Ms Regis allegedly assured Ms Lau that Ms Banilbo was 'fit and capable to work as a domestic helper and she would be good for the job'.

Ms Lau subsequently hired Ms Banilbo through an employment agency. She came to Hong Kong on June 25 from the Philippines and began work for Ms Lau.

Ms Lau claims that immediately after Ms Banilbo started work, she 'repeatedly failed to use her common sense and her best efforts to perform her job ...'.

On one occasion, Ms Banilbo did not add salt to macaroni, claiming no one told her she should add salt to pasta, the writ says.

Ms Lau is also seeking from the two maids unspecified damages over Ms Banilbo's report to the police alleging Ms Lau's elder daughter beat her with an umbrella and a wooden rod, and for time spent in defending a wrongful dismissal claim at the Labour Tribunal.