Monday, May 30, 2011

Caregiver sues former employer, claiming $162,000 in lost wages

At 21, Lilliane Namukasa left Uganda to make a new life in Canada as a live-in caregiver for two small children.

But after working full-time for two years, she was paid just $2,100 by her Brampton employer and then fired without cause, forcing her into a homeless shelter, Namukasa says in a claim filed in Ontario Superior Court.

This is despite an employment contract that entitled Namukasa to receive approximately $22,000 a year, before taxes, minus $2,860 for room and board, she says in the claim.

Namukasa is seeking $162,000 for breach of contract and unpaid wages, statutory holiday pay and vacation pay. She is further claiming $33,000 for wrongful dismissal.

The allegations have not been proved in court.

The Workers’ Action Centre, a non-profit worker-based organization, says the case is one more example of wage theft faced by Ontario’s most vulnerable workers.

The centre, which is holding a Queen’s Park news conference Monday, is highlighting Namukasa’s plight and that of another live-in caregiver, as part of its campaign to beef up the province’s outdated Employment Standards Act.

“Workers should not be forced to take court action to recover unpaid wages, overtime and other employment standards entitlements,” says the centre’s coordinator Deena Ladd.

Read the article in the Toronto Star
Go to the Workers' Action Centre