Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Filipina Caregivers Win $70K In Back Wages From Richmond District Rest Home

Posted By on Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 5:25 PM


Meg Whitman isn't the only one forking over thousands of dollars in back pay to her hired help. While "Queen Meg" made her problem go away with $5,500, a Richmond District care home had to pay far more in back wages -- $70,000 in fact -- to two Filipina caregivers who say they worked long hours seven days a week without meal periods. 

The Parks Rest Home, a licensed care home for six elderly and disabled patients, wrote hefty checks to Victoria Aquino and Lourdes Torres in a settlement agreement at the end of November, says Terry Valen, the director of the Filipino Community Center. The two employees were on the verge of a hearing with the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement when the home agreed to settle. The owners of the Park home were not available for comment at press time. 

"It's a pretty big victory for our community," Valen told SF Weekly. "Filipinos are known as domestic workers and this industry is going to expand as the baby boom generation grows older. A lot of [Filipino workers] don't know their rights, are worried about their immigration status, and don't want to speak up."

Aquino, older than 60 herself, started working at the home in 2007 from 6 a.m. to late at night cooking the six patients' meals, dispensing their medications, washing their laundry, and maintaining the facility. The Parks family hired on Torres as her backup, subjecting her to long hours as well.

The women held a press conference last spring after they were able to win an eight hour workday from the previous on-call 24-hour one. After the event was covered in the Filipino media, Valen says his nonprofit received dozens of calls from Filipinos around the Bay Area and even out of state, reporting similar tales. The Filipino Community Center is now sending those people to pro bono labor attorneys and the Women's Employment Rights Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law.

"We're starting to win victories with an organizing campaign that allows workers to know they have these rights regardless of their immigration status," Valen says.

New York became the first state to extend labor laws to domestic workers this year. While California has yet to do the same, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced a domestic workers' bill of rights earlier this year that was chaptered by the secretary of state in September.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Lauren Smiley


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"