Bank short-changed me: job-seeker

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 January, 2002, 12:00am

A mainland law student is suing the People's Bank of China for discrimination after it included a minimum height requirement of 1.68 metres in an advertisement for male clerks.

Jiang Tao, who stands 1.65 metres tall, has invoked the Chinese constitution in his claim against the bank's Chengdu branch.

'The job posting violates article 33 of the Chinese constitution guaranteeing that all citizens are equal before the law, by imposing arbitrary height limitations regarding who can apply for the job,' said Zhou Wei, Mr Jiang's law professor and legal representative.

After a day of meetings last week, the bank's deputy division chief, Liu Qipei, said a legal battle was unnecessary because Mr Jiang had not formally applied for a job.

'After hearing the complaints we also removed the height requirement from our job posting, so there should be no reason to bring this to court,' he said.

But legal scholars and constitutional advocates hope the case will still come before Wuhou District Court because the bank is not the only institution imposing height requirements while recruiting.

Even China's prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai stipulates that applicants to its law, journalism and tourism schools must be at least 1.6 metres tall - which would have ruled out former leader Deng Xiaoping, who stood at just 1.5 metres.

'We have the rule because these people will have to appear before the public after they graduate,' an admissions officer said.