Teacher fired for chat appearance in online class wins Rs 4.7 lakh lawsuit in China


Teacher fired for chat appearance in online class wins wrongful dismissal case | Representative picture

Photo: iStock

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The educational technology company argued that its cat’s appearance violated a code prohibiting “non-teaching activities”.
  • His employer cited a previous case of lateness among the reasons for his dismissal.
  • Luo challenged the decision and won the legal battle despite the initial denial of compensation.

Teacher fired for catis cameo in online course paid $6,000

An art teacher from Guangzhou city in China, who was fired for her cat’s repeated appearances during an online class last year, has won a payout of Rs 4.7 lakh in a wrongful dismissal.
The teacher, identified as Luo, was taking an online class in June when her cat jumped into camera view five times.

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Luo was fired by her employer, an educational technology company, citing the feline’s sudden appearances, which she said damaged the teacher’s “image”.

Additionally, the company alluded to a past instance where the teacher showed up 10 minutes late to class and accused Luo of engaging in “non-teaching” activities during class.

She then challenged the decision in arbitration. However, the employer refused to comply with the order and even denied Luo compensation for his unfair dismissal.

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The educational technology company alleged that the cat’s appearances violated a clause in the teacher’s rules, which prohibits non-academic activities such as chatting, eating in class and browsing the internet, among others.

The teacher argued that her cat’s cameo did not interfere with the class.

Guangzhou Tianhe People’s Court Judge Liao Yajing, who is presiding over the case, ruled that employers should not be “too demanding” if their staff are required to work from home during the Covid pandemic, according to The Independent.

“Employer rules must not only comply with laws, but must also be fair and reasonable,” she added.

The teacher received compensation of $6,000.

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