China: Employers can use the company’s Intranet to lawfully solicit employees’ opinions
The Company publicized the Employee Handbook at its Intranet, solicited employees’ opinion and stated that no feedbacks from employees within 5 days since its release would be deemed as consent on the Employee Handbook. After the 5 days, the Company officially announced through its Intranet that the Employee Handbook took effect and reminded the employees to strictly comply with the Employee Handbook. Months later, the Company unilaterally terminated one employee (the “Employee”) for reimbursement of false expense, which was in violation of the Employee Handbook. The Employee filed labor arbitration and litigation proceedings against the Company and challenged that the Employee Handbook had not gone through the consultation process with employees and thus had not obtained legal effect to function as a legal basis for Company’s unilateral termination. Through the arbitration and litigation process, the Court eventually ruled in favor of the Company. The Court came to this decision based on the following:
- the content of Employee Handbook was not illegal;
- the employees had the opportunity to express their opinions for the Employee Handbook; and
- the consultation process with employees had been fulfilled as the Employee Handbook was posted to Company’s Intranet and open for opinions.