An employer in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, invited workers to drink him under the table at a recent year-end banquet in which the highest bonuses were given to those capable of drinking the most.
An employee surnamed Zhang from the unnamed company said that his boss placed a pile of banknotes on the table before announcing workers would receive bonuses based on how much they could drink.
"Men were given 500 yuan ($82.65) for a shot of liquor, 200 yuan for a glass of red wine and 100 yuan for a beer. Women were given twice as much money for consuming the same amounts," Zhang said.
Employees lined up to drink one by one and received their bonuses, but many were upset alcohol consumption had replaced work efficiency as the new standard for year-end bonuses.
Many employees became drunk. Zhang said those with high alcohol tolerance could pocket over 10,000 yuan, while others had to settle for 1,000 yuan.
"I couldn't get a bonus if I didn't drink, but it is bad for one's health to drink too much. Everyone ended up drinking and some people vomited," said Zhang, who described the unusual bonus system as "unreasonable and inhumane."
"We worked hard all year only to learn our bonuses would be decided by our alcohol tolerance. It was absolutely unfair to people who can't drink much."
The employer explained to workers that much of the company's business success was rooted in employees being able to hold their liquor with clients.
Legal experts said there are no laws related to the distribution of year-end bonuses, which is determined at the discretion of employers.
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