Jul 10, 2010

Pinay worker in Perth settles suit vs McDonalds over ‘forced abortion’

A Filipina worker in west Australia has dropped a suit that she filed against a Perth franchise of global fast food giant McDonald’s for causing her alleged “forced abortion,” and accepted instead a confidential settlement, according to a report posted Thursday on an Australian news site.

According to the West Australian report, Rechilda Moll-Sequitin, a 31-year-old Filipina working at the Mindarie branch of the fast food chain, had accused the McDonald’s franchisee of racial and sexual discrimination and had claimed $140,000 in compensation.

“The court application has been satisfactorily resolved by a confidential settlement between the parties,” Moll-Sequitin’s lawyer Simon Millman said as quoted in the report.

The report did not state the details of the settlement.

According to the report, Moll-Sequitin arrived in Australia in June 2008 on a 457 visa for temporary employment.

She was appointed as the store’s assistant manager by franchisee Neil Platts.

Three months after, she became pregnant, with her then fiancé Australian Guiller Sequitin as the presumed father.

In September 2008, however, Moll-Sequitin had an abortion after Platts allegedly threatened her that she would lose her job if she does not terminate her pregnancy.

She again became pregnant in February last year. About a month after, Platt called her to a meeting where he again allegedly cautioned her against continuing with her pregnancy.

“He told me… that if I go on with the pregnancy, he’d give me a letter of redundancy and I’d go back to the Philippines right away, pregnant, jobless and without (my husband),” Moll-Sequitin said in her complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission as quoted in the report.

She said she refused to have another abortion, and as a consequence was made redundant three days later.

She married Sequitin and gave birth to her daughter late last year.

Platt’s company Kandoo Investments initially denied the accusation, but Moll-Sequitin’s lawyer said his client had a tape recording of the second series of threats.

The Federal Court was supposed to hear arguments on the tape’s admissibility as evidence on July 8.—JV, GMANews.TV

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