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MOM's Response to Claims Made By "Laura"

  1. Mr Gilbert Goh (on his Facebook account) and The Online Citizen have published the case of “Laura”, a Singaporean who worked for Refinitiv Asia Pte Ltd, claiming that her employment was terminated as a result of discrimination.
  2. On 6 Mar 2020, “Laura” (not her real name) identified herself in an email to TAFEP.  Based on the information that she provided in our records, she is the same person that Mr Goh alluded to in his article.
  3. Mr Goh’s article contain various inaccuracies and misleading statements which we wish to clarify.

    Claim #1
  4. Nobody replied to her email “after a few days” and she only received a reply after she threatened to post on Facebook. 

    Claim #2
  5. TAFEP did not follow up with an investigation of Refinitiv Asia as she requested.

  6. Both claims are not true. 
  7. "Laura" first emailed MOM on 21 Jan 2020, at 9.55 am. One day later, on 22 Jan 2020, at 7.40 am, she wrote to MOM again. On 23 Jan 2020, an officer from TAFEP contacted "Laura" to arrange a phone conversation which took place the same day at 4.35pm. 
  8. We have reviewed the recording for this conversation, as it is central to "Laura"’s claims. 
  9. In the conversation with TAFEP staff, "Laura" revealed that she was expecting a severance payment from her employer Refinitiv Asia on 7 March. TAFEP staff respected her concern that an immediate follow-up with Refinitiv Asia might jeopardise her severance payment. "Laura" then agreed that TAFEP should wait till the severance payment was made. 
  10. "Laura" said in the recording, “I will tell you once I receive the money all in. 7 March I will come back to you again. You can stir whatever s*** you need to stir lah, I don’t care anymore.”
  11. A few hours after the phone conversation, "Laura" sent an email to TAFEP (on 23 Jan 2020 at 7.37 pm) in which she implied that TAFEP was unwilling to help her. However, in a further email to TAFEP on 2 March 2020, she reminded TAFEP that “I will confirm by Sat, 7 Mar, if the severance has been paid out. Please wait for my confirmation before you start reaching out to Refinitiv.”
  12. On 6 Mar 2020, "Laura" informed TAFEP that her severance payment was received and accused TAFEP for holding back the investigation against her wishes. In a further email on the same day, she threatened that if she did not hear back after a week, she will proceed with an interview with Gilbert Goh. Our officer replied on the same day confirming that TAFEP will proceed with the investigation as previously agreed with her. "Laura" responded that her story was already published by Gilbert Goh. 

    Conclusion

  13. We appreciate that "Laura" was going through a difficult time.
  14. In spite of her threats and abusive approach, we have tried our best to be supportive and to follow up with her claims of discrimination by Refinitiv Asia. If the company has breached any part of the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices, firm action will be taken against it.
  15. In addition, we have advised "Laura" on 30 Jan 2020 and 24 Feb 2020 that if she wishes to pursue a claim of wrongful dismissal, she should file a claim within 1 month after her last day of employment (in other words, by 19 March 2020). Her claim will be looked at separately from TAFEP’s investigation into Refinitiv Asia’s practices.