Agency Charges Helper $15K
An employment agency licensee has been fined
$9,000 by the Eastern Court for charging an Indonesian domestic helper agency fees amounting to more than 30 times the legal limit. The agent coerced the helper into borrowing $13,300 to cover the fee, which, plus interest, meant she had to pay $15,000 to the loan shark. Agencies can only charge 10 percent of a helper’s salary, in this case $411, as an intermediary fee. The Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Union spoke out against the court’s ruling, saying the $9,000 fine would not be an effective deterrent against such behavior by agencies. The maximum fine possible for such an offense is $50,000. Our take: As if domestic workers don’t have a hard enough time as it is.