Himanshu Bhatia, an Indian American CEO, has been ordered to pay $135,000 to her former domestic worker after the Labour Department found that she underpaid and mistreated her.
Bhatia paid her domestic helper, Sheela Ningwal, below the minimum wage. Sheela was paid $400 a month with food and housing.
The employee had suffered ‘callous abuse’according to the investigators. She was made to sleep on a piece of carpet in the garage when she was ill, with the dogs sleeping nearby. Bhatia even confiscated her passport.
She fired Ningwal after she found her researching labour laws online. Bhatia even tried to make her sign a document stating that she and Bhatia had no employment dispute. Bhatia is the CEO of Rose International and IT Staffing. Her employee had been fired in December 2014.
Domestic help is treated even worse in India. The portal BookMyBai reveals how badly domestic help is treated in India. The stories reveal how high-profile employers don’t give food to their maids, don’t let their employees go on leave. The portal has now refused to work with Bollywood celebrities.
On an everyday basis, we often hear stories of people mistreating their domestic help, and even pay less than the minimum wages. Labour is unorganised and unregulated and often those who have the power to improve the situation of domestic help in India, are the same ones who use the system to their advantage.