Employment Practices Liability

Workers to be given the right to sue employers for discrimination


China: A new employment promotion law was passed in August by the Standing Committee of the National’s People’s Congress allowing Chinese workers to sue their employers for illegal discrimination beginning 1 January 2008


Discrimination because of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, disabled persons, hepatitis B and HIV carriers is already (since 1991) prohibited. The effect of these prohibitions has been greatly limited because no right was explicitly granted to individuals who suffer illegal discrimination and no penalties were specified in any laws or regulations


The new law grants individuals who suffer illegal discrimination the right to bring a claim to court. However, age discrimination is not specifically prohibited.


But there are still unclear issues. Up to now there is no regime if the discrimination claims are treated as labour disputes or ordinary civil claims. In addition, there are no clear standards for proving discrimination. Chinese anti­discrimination laws remain at an early stage of development. However, individuals now have the opportunity to file discrimination suits that will have future effects.


Source: Financial Times Asia, 25 September 2007

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re


CNY 5,000 (USD717) payout for discrimination due to hepatitis


China; A job applicant, who is a hepatitis B carrier, has been awarded compensation of CNY 5,000 (USD717) after claiming he was rejected for a job by the subsidiary of a Taiwan computer maker due to discrimination over his health condition.


The Shanghai court rejected his claim for more than CNY60,000 (USD8,600) in compensation for emotional distress. The man was originally hired by the company in 2005 following two rounds of interviews, but rejected after they received his health report that indicated that he was a hepatitis B carrier.


The court denied a violation of law because the claimant had signed an agreement before a physical examination, which required his health condition to meet certain standards. The plaintiff vowed to appeal to a higher court. In May 2007, the ministries of health and labour and social security banned employers from imposing compulsory hepatitis B tests on job applicants.


Source South Chino Morniny Post, ZS October 2007

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re


Shanghai Congress Approves Sexual Harassment Rules


China: On 26 April 2007, the Standing Committee of the Shanghai People’s Congress approved an amendment to local regulations specifying acts that may constitute sexual harassment. The regulation gives female employees the right to file civil suits for sexual harassment.


The regulation requires that employers not only investigate complaints, but also take steps to prevent sexual harassment. The regulations intend to implement the sexual harassment prohibitions set out in the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women; an amendment to the law in 2005 represented the first effort to outlaw sexual harassment in China.


Source: China Daily, 2.7 April 2007

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re

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