Chinese man with HIV wins back his job and US$9,000 in lost earnings after year-long fight
Employee refused to accept being dismissed after routine health check revealed he had the virus
A Chinese man who claimed he was unfairly dismissed for having HIV has been reinstated by his former employer and paid 60,000 yuan (US$9,400) in compensation following mediation through a District Court, according to an online news report.
After a year of fighting his case, the man from southwestern Sichuan province – referred to only by the pseudonym Xie Peng – returned to work this month, Cover News reported on Sunday.
Xie started working for the unnamed company on April 7 last year. After successfully completing a one-month probationary period he was told he would be given a full employment contract, and as part of the administration process for that was asked to undergo a routine health check.
When the examination revealed that Xie had HIV, his employer’s attitude changed and on June 9 he was told he would not be getting an employment contract and that he should “go home and take care of his illness”, the report said.
The following month he received a payment of 3,000 yuan to cover his outstanding wages, and then heard no more.
Dissatisfied with the way he had been treated, Xie began researching the law and discovered that companies in China are not permitted to test for HIV as part of their medical checks for new employees.
Armed with this information, on November 10, Xie, with the help of a lawyer, filed a case with his local labour arbitration committee. In it he demanded reinstatement on a permanent contract and financial compensation for lost earnings.
A month later, the arbitration committee ruled that while the company had acted unfairly in not giving Xie a contract for the months he had worked before his dismissal, it was under no obligation to offer him a permanent position.
Reluctant to accept the decision, Xie took his case to the Central District Court in Neijiang, Sichuan, which agreed to mediate.
It was following those talks, held on April 28, that the company agreed to reinstate Xie on a two-year contract and pay him 60,000 yuan, which the court ruled he was owed in lieu of unpaid wages since his dismissal.
Xie was quoted as saying that after returning to work he had been overwhelmed by the support he had received from his colleagues.