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Resident Magistrate says former helper sued her out of malice

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 2014 | 5:34 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Resident Magistrate Stephanie Jackson Haisley says her former household helper, who is suing her for alleged underpayment, is doing so out of malice and to embarrass her.

She made the assertions in court documents filed on Monday by her lawyer, Symone Mayhew.

The magistrate said the woman was always paid above the terms of the minimum wage order.

According to the documents, the helper, Marcia Wellington, was employed on October 8, 2013 and her services were terminated on February 3, 2014.

Jackson-Haisley says the helper was always paid $8,000 per week, which was above the minimum wage of $5,600 per week.

She says over the period of employment, the woman was paid a total of $120,000 in addition to bonuses.

She adds that the figures the helper submitted to the Labour Ministry are incorrect.

Meanwhile, Jackson Haisley contends that the helper was fired because of continued unauthorised absences from work and because she worked fewer than the agreed 40 hours per week.

In the meantime, the magistrate is contending that in April, the woman sent her a text message threatening to go public if demands for money were not met.

The magistrate says this amounts to a threat to extort her and her husband.

The helper filed a suit in the Corporate Area Civil Court in November contending that the magistrate underpaid her throughout the period of employment.

Wellington is reportedly contending that she is owed between $30,000 and $90,000.

The matter last came up before the court on December 18 but was put off until February.

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