Teacher in China fired for poor looks

Qiu Zi has an abnormally big head because she suffered from hydrocephalus when she was born


Beijing

A 23-year-old Chinese woman has accused a Shanghai language school of firing her because of her "unfavourable looks" in what may be China's first looks-related work discrimination case.Qiu Zi has appealed to the labour disputes arbitration office of Xuhui District, and the case had undergone mediation yesterday. She is asking the Shanghai Jiaotong University Education Group to pay 10,000 yuan (USD 1,288) for breaking their contract and to refund a training fee of 260 yuan (USD 33).23-yr-old Qiu Zi, has an abnormally big head because she suffered from hydrocephalus, or water on the brain when she was born.

She graduated from the English education department of a collage in Henan's Shangqiu City and was hired by the company on December 1, 2006, after 15 days of teacher training. Qiu was told to report to another branch of the group in the eastern Zhejiang Province on December 21. However, Qiu received call from Shanghai to return to Zhengzhou after she met with the head of the Zhejiang branch on December 24.

On December 26 she was told by a branch manager that her appearance did not meet the requirements of the Zhejiang branch. "Since then, they have refused to honour the contract and to give me another job. The excuse is always that my looks are not suitable," she said. "It's obviously discrimination to fire me because I don't look good," Qiu said. "I know my experience is not exceptional and some one should stand up, so I did." "My company and I have never discriminated against Qiu Zhi on the grounds of looks," a company official said.

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