'Toronto Star' Investigation Figures in Nanny's Lawsuit

By: E&P Staff For the past year, The Toronto Star has documented numerous cases of foreign-born nannies who paid high fees for a job in Canada that never materialized. Now, in what's believed to be a first, a nanny has successfully sued an employment recruiter for damages.

A Star article by Dale Brazao reports that Marivic Perlas Rivera, a native of the Philippines working in Hong Kong when she was recruited, has been awarded $10,000 in damages from a so-called "ghost employer." Rivera said she paid $2,800 to Winlorfely Caregiver Providers to find legal employment as a live-in caregiver.

But when she arrived in Canada last November, she testified in small claims court, the supposed employer said he was not interested in her services. She spent six months looking for legal work before finally suing the recruiting company, which operated out of a suburban Toronto home.

"If they didn't have an employer for me they should have told me the truth before I left Hong Kong," she said, according to the Star article. "This was a ghost employer."

The Star investigative series found numerous cases of nannies paying fees of as much as $10,000 for non-existent jobs. "In some cases, the Star found nannies were housed in high numbers in basement apartments and flophouses around the GTA, and then forced to work illegally to start paying recruiters their placement fees," the paper reported. "The series has prompted both the federal and provincial governments to take action to rein in rogue operators."

Ontario is expected before Christmas to pass legislation banning all fees for nannies coming to work in the providence.


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