According to a report by the Southern Metropolis Weekly, a district court in Zhuhai City has ruled in favour of Fan, a woman who was fired because of her pregnancy, in a workplace gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer.
Fan Huiling, 41, was employed by the Yingli Property Management Co. Ltd in Zhuhai City on 15th January 2019 as a security guard at a local secondary school, with a monthly salary of 3,750 yuan.
On the 20th of February, Fan was excited to discover that she was pregnant for the second time. However when she asked her employer for a few days’ leave, as advised by the doctor, she was told not to return.
Fan sued her former employer on the 25th of April, citing the new equal employment rights clause in the Provisions on the Cause of Action of Civil Cases. Yingli Property Management has now been ordered to pay Fan a total of 13,939 yuan – the equivalent of four months’ pay, and issue a public apology. Fan had a miscarriage the day after filing the lawsuit.
In the beginning of this year, a new set of rules was passed in China prohibiting gender-based discriminatory practices when hiring female candidates. The new rules ban employers from asking female candidates for their marital and childbearing status.
China’s one-child policy was replaced by a universal two-child policy in October 2015. Following this Wang Pei’an, vice-minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, stated that the new policy might increase workplace gender discrimination in China.
According to Southern Metropolis Weekly, in a survey 60% of female respondents claimed to have been asked whether they intended to have a second child while looking for a job. Meanwhile, a similar survey conducted by Chongqing Economic Times in 2015 showed that nearly 50% of employers would be wary of hiring a woman who intends to have a second child.
The new employment rights rules are believed to have provided more legal support to women facing discrimination in the workplace. According to Jiang Pan, Fan’s lawyer, the new clause entitles women to a broader range of compensations, which will encourage them to defend their rights by taking the employer to a court.