Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Note on Employment Discrimination Lawsuits in China
14 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2010
Date Written: August 1, 2010
China’s legal system continues to struggle with the political and social complications of its rapid economic development. One of the more glaring tensions in the New China is the treatment of workers in a capitalist economy nested within a socialist political system. Curb Your Enthusiasm: A Note on Employment Discrimination Lawsuits in China is an article in a series of papers I am writing on the issue of employment discrimination in China. Research on employment discrimination is quite a recent thing in China, yet as early as in 2002, I was involved in several high-profile anti-discrimination cases and served as a legal counsel for plaintiff in one of them. I was also a participant in the initial employment discrimination research program in west China directed by Professor Zhou Wei of Sichuan University law school.
The development in Chinese employment discrimination law excited many people. However, people might be easily misled by a few high-profile discrimination cases and the burgeoning scholarly interests on anti-discrimination into believing that employment discrimination issue is being very seriously and effectively dealt with through Chinese legal system. In fact, as my previous paper Employment Discrimination in China: Current Situations and Principle Challenges (Hamline Law Review, Volume 32 Winter 2009) as well as this paper has noted that even now employment discrimination is still prevalent in China. Despite continued employment discrimination in the Chinese workplace, few discrimination cases coming to Chinese courts. In this article, based on a survey administrated to judges from different courts in China, I argue that in spite of the enthusiastic anti-discrimination movement in China and despite the record setting volume of laws and regulations prohibiting employment discrimination, employment discrimination litigation remains unpopular and politically sensitive in China.
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