international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

China: Court rules on Termination of Employee who Unreasonably refused to Work at New Location

The Supreme People’s Court included one employment dispute case in its latest monthly publication. In this case,  the employer decided to relocate its plant to a new place, which is around 4.5 kilometers away from its original position.  Although the new location can be reached through public transportation, the employer also promised to provide employees with a reward of 500 RMB and a raise in the monthly transportation allowance by 50 RMB. However, the employee refused to work at the new location, which he considered to be too far away. Later, the employer unilaterally dismissed the employee for absenteeism. The employee filed a lawsuit, claiming wrongful termination. The court eventually dismissed the case based on the reasons that: (1) the employer provided additional benefits to its employees, which reduced the adverse impact caused by the relocation; (2) the relocation did not amount to a fundamental barrier to the employee’s ability to perform his work; (3) the employee shall continue to work at the new location; and (4) the employer had a valid reason to terminate the employee for absenteeism.



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