Extent of Protection
Employers, when recruiting new employees, shall not discriminate against female employees, ethnic minority workers, disabled people, and rural workers. Also, employers shall not refuse to employ a job candidate on the basis that he or she is a carrier of any infectious pathogen unless otherwise provided by laws and regulations. Particularly, an employer is forbidden to include provisions in its labor contracts or internal regulations restricting female employees’ right to marry and reproduce. If a female employee believes her right to marry or give birth has been violated, the employee may bring a case before the court and even seek compensation.
Protections against Harassment
Harassment in China is mainly addressed as sexual harassment in our legislation. However, such legislation fails to provide a clear definition of “sexual harassment” nor does it contain specific employer duties to prevent and prohibit sexual harassment.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
Employers shall provide disabled employees with appropriate working conditions and labor protection, and make appropriate modifications to the working place, equipment and living facilities.
Employers who violate laws regulating sexual harassment may only be punished under tort law or criminal law. Compared with many other countries, the harassment legislation in China is very new. Apart from tort liabilities and criminal penalties, PRC law does not impose other duties on employers or employees. Therefore, legal practitioners in China have urged for the establishment of a more comprehensive anti-sexual harassment labor protection regime in the near future. Employment discrimination cases are rare in China because under current legislation, it is difficult to adduce evidence and there are no comprehensive remedies for employment discrimination violations.