TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese employer based in Taichung has been charged for the Human Trafficking Prevention Act for not providing her Indonesian employee with adequate time off and the minimum wage required by law, reported CNA.
According to the indictment, the employer, a women surnamed Lee (李) required her Indonesian employee to not only work overtime in his factory, but also to do household chores. She both failed to give her adequate days off and also pay her less than the minimum salary required by law.
Lee, required her employee, a 64-year-old woman identified as Linda, to work every Monday through Friday for 11.5 hours, Saturdays for eight hours and Sundays for 8.5 hours. Every Saturday and Sunday, she was asked to help with packaging products, and also wash dishes, clean and even go to Lee’s home to wash clothes, clean her car and sweep, among other housework.
In not allowing Linda to have any days off, Lee violated the Labor Standards Act, which requires one mandatory day off and one flexible day off for every seven days of work (一例一休). Lee also did not pay Linda for her overtime worked, also in violation of the labor law.
If Linda refused to work on what should be her days off or requested back pay, Lee would hit her or intimidate her by saying things like “If you act up again, I’ll beat you,” or “If you don’t clean it right, I’ll hit you.”
Out of fear, Linda was forced to work overtime and do housework. From the time she was hired on Nov. 21, 2016 to the day she quit on Feb. 24 2017, Linda claims that she is owed NT$50,372 in back pay.
In desperation, Linda contacted authorities through the 1955 24-hour hotline for foreign workers. When she was questioned by police, Lee denied the charges and said that Linda had never worked more than eight hours each day and she had Saturdays and Sundays off.
Lee also denied that she made Linda clean or do other household chores, nor did she admit beating or intimidating her.
However, prosecutors found that over the course of the three months Linda worked, she had only two nights off, and her total salary for that period was only NT$32,752, far below the monthly minimum wage of NT$21,009. Lee today was sent to the Taichung District Prosecutors Office on charges of violating the Human Trafficking Prevention Act .