12 May 2008

Filipino workers at sewing shop in American Samoa sue employer and officials

10:17 am on 12 May 2008

Three Filipino women, employed as seamstresses at a local sewing shop, are suing their employer, the American Samoa government, an immigration officer and other parties for unpaid wages.

Ruby Bartolome, Rhoderiza Amil and Melando Baguisi, allege their employer JKL Inc, failed to pay them minimum wages, overtime, and did not pay local and federal taxes and falsely imprisoned them.

The suit also alleges the government is acting on behalf of JLK Inc and assisting in the mistreatment and exploitation of the women.

Two of the women claimed they had worked 11 hours a day, seven days a week and were only paid US$400 a month.

The plantiffs claim that their employer did not remit federal and local taxes for years 2003, 2004 and 2007.

The women have been interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.