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Employer indicted for exploiting Indonesian migrant worker

2018/03/08 14:39:12

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) An employer in the central city of Taichung was charged Thursday with violating the Human Trafficking Prevention Act for allegedly depriving an Indonesian national she hired to work at her factory of any time off and much of her salary.

According to the indictment from the Taichung District Prosecutors Office, the woman, surnamed Li (李), who manages a factory in Taichung's Taiping District, hired Linda to work for her starting Nov. 21, 2016.

Li asked Linda to work about 11.5 hours every day Monday to Friday, eight hours on Saturdays and 8.5 hours on Sundays, according to the statement.

While her job entailed packaging at the factory, Linda was also required to go to her employer's house on the weekends to do chores such as laundry, car washing and other housekeeping work.

According to the prosecutors office, Li not only violated labor laws by not giving Linda a day off for every seven days or paying her for working overtime, but she also verbally threatened to beat Linda if she did not comply with her orders.

Finally, Linda called the 1955 24-hour hotline for foreign workers after three months of such terrible treatment, and the police became involved.

Li has denied all the allegations, claiming that she never asked Linda to work over eight hours or to work at her house, regularly gave her the weekends off, and did not hit or threaten to hit her. However, the investigation found that in the three months that Linda worked for Li, she only had two nights off.

Furthermore, Linda received just NT$32,752 (US$1,118) for the entire three months she worked for Li, which averages out to a monthly pay that is way below the minimum monthly wage of NT$21,009 that was in place during the time of her employment, according to prosecutors.

The back pay owed to Linda is an estimated NT$50,372 for the employment period of Nov. 21, 2016 to February 24, 2017, prosecutors said.

(By Su Mu-chun and Kuan-lin Liu)