Flushed frustration: Sacked employee in bathroom break battle
Flushed frustration: Sacked employee in bathroom break battleLegacy

A Chinese company employee, dismissed for excessively long bathroom breaks during work hours, sued his employer for compensation but faced counter-evidence. The employee, from Nantong in Jiangsu province, demanded 200,000 yuan (approximately 1 million baht) for what he claimed was an illegal termination.

As an employee at an electrical circuit company since June 2015, Liu has been responsible for inspecting the entire factory area. Despite earning a monthly salary of 10,000 yuan (approximately 51,165 baht), Liu was unexpectedly fired in March 2021. Feeling aggrieved, Liu filed a lawsuit in August, seeking compensation from the company.

The Tongzhou District People’s Court in Nantong handled the labour dispute case. The company justified Liu’s dismissal by stating that he spent more than one hour per day in the bathroom. Liu argued that his bathroom breaks were due to personal physiological needs and that he was performing inspection duties in the restroom.

The company presented evidence to the court, indicating that internal monitor statistics showed Liu spent excessive amounts of time in the bathroom. In February last year, Liu was recorded using the bathroom 11 times, with each visit lasting between 31 minutes and three hours. On some days, Liu’s bathroom breaks totalled a minimum of 1 hour and 22 minutes, and on others, up to six hours and 21 minutes, which amounted to absenteeism exceeding two hours per day, thereby justifying his dismissal per company policy.

The Tongzhou District People’s Court judge found that most people typically spend only short periods in the bathroom. Liu’s prolonged bathroom breaks during work hours, almost spanning the entire day, were deemed unreasonable for personal physiological needs. Moreover, these breaks fell outside the scope of Liu’s job responsibilities, and he failed to provide relevant work records or evidence to support his claim that he was performing his duties in the bathroom.

Ultimately, Liu’s request for compensation lacked sufficient evidence, and the court did not support his claim. Following the court ruling, Liu did not appeal, and the judgement became final, reported Sanook.

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Author: Samantha Rose