Shanghai govt stresses employers cannot fire or refuse to hire employees because of past COVID-19 infection following media reports of work discrimination
Published: Jul 11, 2022 11:00 PM
File photo shows a view of the Lujiazui area in Shanghai.Photo:Xinhua
File photo shows a view of the Lujiazui area in Shanghai.Photo:Xinhua

Shanghai government spokesperson Yin Xin stressed on Monday that companies cannot refuse to hire applicants because they have been previously infected with COVID-19, responding to previous public calls on this situation reported in the media.

All departments and units should treat people recovering from COVID-19 equally and without discrimination in accordance with relevant requirements of laws and regulations, said Yin during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

Previously, many Chinese media outlets reported that job postings from certain companies indicated they were not hiring candidates who were previously infected with COVID-19, sparking widespread public concern.

When reporters mentioned the issue at Monday's press conference, Yin replied that it was a very important issue and that the local government is concerned about the situation.

Yin pointed out that China's labor law, employment promotion law and infectious disease prevention and control law, among other laws and regulations, clearly stipulate that employers may not refuse to hire people on the basis of being carriers of infectious diseases unless a medical evaluation shows that they are unsuitable for jobs that make it easy for infectious diseases to spread.

No company or individual may discriminate against patients, carriers of infectious diseases and suspected infectious patients, the official stressed.

The Supreme People's Court has also issued special regulations to clarify that employers cannot terminate an employment relationship solely on the grounds that the worker is a confirmed COVID-19 patient, a suspected patient, an asymptomatic carrier, a quarantined person, or that the worker comes from an area where the epidemic is relatively serious, she said.

Earlier, discriminatory job postings were widely published online by job agencies claiming to represent companies such as Disney and Foxconn, stating that they will not accept job seekers who have been infected with COVID-19. Some job postings even state that they will impose a fine to those candidates who are found to have concealed a history of infection and joined the company. 

However, Disney and Foxcom have denied such accusations. The companies told the Global Times they had never released such job requirements, nor authorized any job agency to do so. 

Global Times