Domestic helper sues Hong Kong boss for HK$300,000 for sexual harassment

Man allegedly exposes his genitals, gropes woman and attacks her when she refuses to have sex with him on her first day in city.

A domestic helper has lodged a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former Hong Kong employer, seeking more than HK$300,000 (US$38,000) in damages from him for making repeated requests for sex and assaulting her for resisting his advances.

Lawyers for the helper filed documents to the District Court on July 15 alleging the Hong Kong man made multiple unwelcome sexual advances during her three-day stint in the city, including exposing his genitals to her, groping and attacking her.

The six-page document said the helper arrived from Indonesia in September 2019 having agreed to a two-year contract working for the Kowloon City resident at a monthly wage of HK$4,520.

Soon after picking up the helper from Wellmark Employment Services Consultant in Mong Kok on September 30, the employer is said to have undressed himself in front of her inside his flat at a public housing estate. The latter threatened to resign if he refused to put his clothes back on.

That did little to stop the employer from further harassing the helper that day, the writ said, with him touching her while she was sleeping and asking to have sex with her.

As the helper rejected the request, the employer allegedly hit her with a broomstick in an attempt to remove her shirt. The helper locked herself in the bathroom that night.

The cycle repeated for the next two days, with the employer purportedly groping and choking the helper after failing to obtain sexual favours from her, forcing the woman to spend another two nights locked inside the bathroom.

The helper signed a mutual agreement to terminate her contract on October 3 and returned to Indonesia one week later.

“The respondent acted unlawfully in sexually harassing the claimant, making unwelcome advance(s) or unwelcome request(s) for sexual favours to her, or engaging in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to her,” the filing said.

The claimant’s lawyers are seeking a written apology from the employer and demanding that he pay a total of HK$306,286 to their client for loss of income and injury to feelings.

The first hearing is scheduled for October 6.