Employer fined $6,770 for firing worker who refuses to extra-work during weekends
Published: Apr 17, 2024 06:31 PM
Overtime work Photo: VCG

Overtime work Photo: VCG

"Don't ever contact me on weekends, I'm off from office work." The comment Liu left on the moments of the Chinese social media platform WeChat, wrote what many employees think but seldom dare write - she was laid off because of the public comment as she was said to have brought "serious negative impact on the company." 

Subsequently a court ruled on Tuesday that the defendant company is required to pay Liu more than 49000 ($6,770) in compensation.

According to China's state broadcaster CCTV, Liu worked at an education training company in Southwest China's Chongqing, received a phone call from her boss on Friday, asking her to contact a business client immediately. Liu thought she had made the deal with the client, so it's unnecessary to take up the rest of the weekend to work on it, sharing the comment above on her WeChat moments. Liu received a phone call from company's management soon after, informing that she was fired.

Two days later, Liu's contract was terminated.

After a meeting with the company's management, Liu asked for compensation in accordance with her labor contract, but the company rejected the request, assuming that Liu was the at-fault party. After the local labor arbitration intervened to no avail, Liu sued the company to demand due compensation.

The employer exercising the right to terminate the employment is a very severe punishment, said Lin Baozhen, vice president of the Civil Third Division, Jiulongpo District People's Court.

The country's Labor Contract Law imposes strict restrictions on the employer exercising the right to terminate unilaterally, as regulations must be legally formulated, and the democratic process of informing or publicity must be done properly. Workers' behavior must reach the standard of a serious law violation before they can be dismissed. 

The court held that although Liu's behavior was inappropriate, it could not be seen as having a serious impact on the company, and did not reach the level of passive idleness, negligence, disobedience to the management. The court held that the company's termination of the labor contract lacked factual and legal basis and constituted illegal termination. 

According to the relevant provisions of the Labor Contract Law, the court ruled that the defendant company to compensate Liu for more than 49,000 yuan. Because the company did not fulfill the obligation, Liu has since applied to the court for compulsory execution.

The judge claimed that a rapid developed economy raises a higher standard for companies to balance the right of employee management and the protection of employee's legal rights.

Global Times