Hinshaw Obtains $1.2 Million Judgment for Unpaid Immigrant Housekeeper

January 4, 2013

Samuel Bodurtha recovered a $1.2 million judgment for Elizabeth Ballesteros, a Filipina housekeeper who was forced to work without pay and at hours far exceeding 40/week without any overtime pay. Hinshaw represents Ms. Ballesteros' on a pro bono basis and as counsel with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Ms. Ballesteros's employer was Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali, a colonel in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) military who had traveled to Rhode Island to attend the U.S. Naval War College. He has since been acquitted on criminal charges filed against him in connection with his employment of Ms. Ballesteros and returned to the UAE. The award to Ms. Ballesteros includes $840,000 for what the judge described as Col. Al-Ali's "outrageous, illegal and inhumane" treatment of Ms. Ballesteros.

Although Ms. Ballesteros has secured a judgment awarding her damages, she is aware that collecting on it will be the next challenge in this high-profile case because Col. Al-Ali is no longer in the United States. Ms. Ballesteros' primary goal was to have her day in court and, more importantly, to tell her story.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S.-based law firm with offices nationwide. The firm's national reputation spans the insurance industry, the financial services sector, professional services, and other highly regulated industries. Hinshaw provides holistic legal solutions—from litigation and dispute resolution, and business advisory and transactional services, to regulatory compliance—for clients of all sizes. Visit www.hinshawlaw.com for more information and follow @Hinshaw on LinkedIn and X.