Justice has been served to the Filipino nurses in New York who filed a human trafficking case against the owners of the Sentosa group of nursing homes.
The lawsuit, which was filed by Rose Ann Paguirigan in 2018 on behalf of over 200 Filipino nurses, showed evidence of underpayment, understaffing, and instances where they were working in unsafe conditions. The company also didn’t pay the nurses the prevailing wages promised in their contracts.
Additionally, the lawsuit stated that employees were required to pay a contract termination fee of up to $25,000 if they left before the end of their term.
US District Judge Nina Gershon found owners Benjamin Landa and Bent Philipson liable for violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This act “prohibits the use of threats of serious harm or abuse of legal process to obtain the labor or services of a person.” This not only includes physical abuse, but also circumstances where employees are forced to work to avoid getting harmed.
With this decision, the defendants will be expected to pay damages and the attorneys’ fees of the Filipino nurses. This will be determined in a separate hearing happening on Nov. 4.