MANHATTAN (CN) – The owners of a travel and employment agency held a Filipina nurse in slavery and debt servitude after charging her $5,000 to help arrange her visa to come to the United States, the woman claims in Federal Court. She claims Labaire International Travel and the Manhattan-based family that owns and operates it took her passport and forced her to work 18 hours a day as their maid, seven days a week, for three months, for total pay of $100.
Plaintiff Marichu Boanan says Labaire continues to operate as a travel and employment agency in Manila and on East 42nd Street in Manhattan. She says it is owned and operated by defendants Norma Baja and her daughter Maria Elizabeth Facundo Baja, of Manhattan. She also sued Norma Baja’s husband, Lauro Liboon Baja Jr.
She demands punitive damages. She is represented by Aaron Mendelsohn with Troutman Sanders.