Pinoy physical therapists sue US employer over non-payment of wages

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A group of physical therapists -- including Filipino OFWs -- are suing their former employer — Mamaroneck Physical Therapy P.C. and their owners Melody and Christopher Bautista for alleged wage theft.


Jheng Munda and Randy Bendo
Jheng Munda and Randy Bendo

Filipinos Jheng Munda and Randy Bendo, who have worked hard to earn more, are among this group.

According to Don Tagala of the ABS-CBN North America News Bureau, a court complaint shows that a number of current and former employees of the Bautistas were allegedly not properly paid regular and overtime wages, despite working more than 40 hours a week.

Munda said, “Nung una medyo OK yung pasuweldo, hanggang ma-late ng one month, hanggang male-late siya ng two months tapos sasabihin niya sa Friday, sa Saturday everyday of the week, i-pro-promise. (At first, they were paying okay, until they delayed our pay for a month, then 2 months. They keep on promising us 'We'll give it on Friday or Saturday'.)”

Munda says she worked at the Bautistas’ client-facility more than eight hours a day from Monday to Saturday, averaging about 52 hours a week.

For about four months, Munda and Bendo said they were not paid, so they resigned.

Munda said, “Dumating talaga sa point na, ultimo pang grocery namin, mangungutang na kami. Maglalakad na kami papunta sa work (It came to a point that we borrow money for our groceries. Without any money, we only walked to work).”

Court documents show that Mamaroneck PT allegedly failed to pay Munda $25,431 and Bendo $27,360 of back pay and overtime wages.

Balitang America called Mamaroneck PT’s, which is now called the Physical Therapy Associates of Queens for comment but has not received a response at this time.

Munda, Bendo and others are now asking the court for a default judgment in their favor after the defendants failed to answer.

Munda said, "Yung mga Pilipino kasi rito, masyado tayong trusting eh, masyadong mababait ang mga Pilipino. Naa-abuse sila. (The Filipinos here are good people, so trusting.  They are being abused.)"





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