This was the first time a HBV discrimination case had been successfully litigated in China. Earlier cases had been successfully concluded through court ordered mediation or through private agreements between the plaintiff and defendant.
In the Beijing case too, the court sought during the initial hearing on 23 April to mediate an agreement between Gao and the defendant, Beijing Bide Development Telecommunications Technology, an original design manufacturing (ODM) arm of Chinese automotive manufacturer, BYD, but the two parties failed to agree a settlement.
The Chaoyang District Court then made a judgment on 23 May, awarding the plaintiff economic compensation of 17,572.75 yuan and a further 2,000 yuan in compensation for the mental anguish caused by the company’s withdrawal of his job offer. The company was also ordered to apologize in writing to the plaintiff for its actions.
In his lawsuit, brought about after his application for arbitration was rejected by the Chaoyang District Labour Dispute Arbitration Committee, Gao sought a formal apology, 29,250 yuan in economic losses, and 50,000 yuan for the mental anguish caused by the company’s withdrawal of his job offer.
Gao had received a formal letter of employment from Beijing Bide Development Telecommunications Technology in April 2007. However that job offer was rescinded after Gao’s obligatory heath check on 28 May 2007, which showed that he was HBV positive.
The case indicates that enforcement and recognition of the 2008 Employment Promotion Law, which specifically outlaws discrimination against people with an infectious disease (Article 30) is becoming more potent.