Well, it hasn’t really been the greatest past few weeks for Samsung. Last month, they were found guilty of infringing up on its greatest competitor, Apple’s patents and were ordered to pay them $1 billion because of it. Definitely not good news to them or press for their company.
Now they are being accused of something totally different but equally as, if not more, damaging. The South Korean-based company, Samsung is currently coming under fire for the charges of discrimination as it relates to its current hiring practices in its China factories.
And while you may initially assume that it’s perhaps discrimination against someone’s age, race or sex, it’s actually a bit more cryptic than that. Sex, in a way, has something to do with it, but probably not in the way that you would expect. According to the China Labor Watch, a rights group in China, there was a photograph of a recent recruitment poster for the company that was taken (August 29, 2012, to be exact). According to the copy for employment at this 6,000-employee plant, the company was not just looking for females-only (a request that already has the potential for a discrimination suit all over it), but that they were looking to hire women who also had no communicable diseases.
Aside from it sounding odd and suspicious on a myriad of levels, according to Chinese labor and employment laws, no matter what other “motives” may have been behind the request, the fact is that it’s flat out illegal. The Chinese Labor Watch made it a point to clearly state that the Tianjin Samsung Telecom Technology plant, without question, violated article 12 of the Labor Law. According to it, laborers cannot be discriminated against whether it’s due to their ethnic community, race, sex or religious beliefs.
Oh, but the discrimination doesn’t stop there. According to article 30 of the same Labor Law, no employment unit has the right to refuse to employee a potential candidate based on the fact that they are a carrier of any infectious pathogen.
Obviously, there are a few questionable factors here: Why was the company looking for females only? Why would a job poster or any kind of free business listing specify that they didn’t want people with an infectious disease to work within their company? And, as Samsung prepares to address this matter, how can they even remotely claim that they knew nothing about this being that the plant is managed by Samsung and 90 percent ran by the company?
As more details come out about this story, there’s a huge chance that it will only prove to be more detrimental for Samsung because if it can be proven that they did know about these kinds of illegal hiring practices, it’s certain that more investigating will go into how they treat their employees as well.; especially since they were also recently accused by the Chinese Labor Law of treating some of their workers in the China-based plants in inhumane ways by underpaying them and even inflicting physical abuse.
You’ve definitely got some explaining to do, Samsung. Should be interesting to hear your side…of the poster.