Articles Posted in International law

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Edgar M. Rivera, Esq.

How governments regulate workplaces varies from country to country. On June 20, 2016, we covered a sexual harassment case in the United Kingdom EPLI Gender Discrimination Claims Makes Waves in the U.K., in which a coach for a prominent English soccer team sued her employer, alleging sexual harassment. In this blog, we look at how the People’s Republic of China, the largest country in the world by population, deals with workplace sexual harassment.

In China, the female workforce is an important element of the country’s economic competitiveness, constituting 45 percent of the working population. Yet 80 percent of working Chinese women report experiencing sexual harassment at some stage of their career. On August 28, 2005, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress amended the Law for the Protection of Women’s Rights and Interests of the People’s Republic of China to prohibit sexual harassment against women. Although the law does not explicitly impose an obligation on the employer to protect women from sexual harassment, many provinces have subsequently enacted local rules that do create such an obligation. Under these local rules, an employer may be liable if it fails to take actions to prevent or prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. Under the PRC Labor Law and Women’s Protection Law, if the employer fails to take effective measures to prevent or prohibit sexual harassment, the relevant labor or other department may impose a fine or demand that the employer correct the situation.

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Owen H. Laird, Esq.

In a reminder that gender discrimination is not only a problem in the United States, the former team doctor for a top English Premier League football team recently settled her gender discrimination claim against the club on the eve of trial. Eva Carneiro was the lead doctor for Chelsea Football Club until a feud with the team’s manager over her decision to take the field to tend to an injured player triggered a series of events that ultimately led to Chelsea demoting Ms. Carneiro, at which point she resigned.

Ms. Carneiro sued Chelsea and the manager, alleging that she had been constructively dismissed (i.e., forced to resign), sexually harassed, and discriminated against because of her gender. Specifically, she alleged that Chelsea subjected her to a sexist atmosphere, that the manager made sexist and derogatory comments, and that the Club subjected her to disparate treatment as a woman. Given that the incident began with a highly public confrontation during a match, involved a very popular club, and the sensationalist nature of the British press, the case received immediate attention in the media.