A man suing the subsidiary of a Taiwanese computer company for more than 60,000 yuan after he was refused employment because he carries the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has rejected the court's award of 5,000 yuan in compensation and plans to appeal.
The decision by Shanghai's Nanhui District People's Court on 24 October to only allow Changshuo Technology Co - a subsidiary of Taiwan-based computer equipment manufacturer Asus – to make a "voluntary" offer of 5,000 yuan was strongly condemned by the mainland HBV support group Yirenping as "a judgment that seriously infringes human rights and is clearly contrary to China's medical provisions and laws."
"This judgment runs counter to the prevailing social and cultural trend opposing discrimination and promoting equality. It harms the state's drive to eliminate HBV discrimination, gives rise to outrage within the HBV community, creates a lack of confidence in the law and greatly intensifies social tensions," Yirenping said in a press release.
In Shanghai's first HBV discrimination case ruling, the court decided that the plaintiff was not entitled to the compensation he was seeking (12,800 yuan for loss of earnings and 50,000 yuan in psychological damages) because he was still at university when he was offered a job as an assistant engineer at Changshuo Technology and therefore had not entered into a legal labour contract, and that the job offer was contingent on the plaintiff passing a physical examination.
However, the plaintiff's lawyer, Qu Jian, pointed out that the job offer did not specify the health standards the applicant should meet during the physical examination.
The plaintiff was initially accepted by the company after two rounds of interviews in 2005, but rejected after his health report showed him to be a Hepatitis B carrier.
The case is one of seven HBV discrimination cases currently supported by CLB. Please see Responding to Hepatitis B discrimination in the workplace.