Outdoor & Sports Company Ltd., Complaint 789

CONCERNING LABOUR STANDARDS
Payment of a living wage
STATUS
Closed
DATE
2019-09-26

FWF received a complaint from a sewing worker serving at a factory that supplied OSC. As the factory was in low season from July to September, on 25 July 2019 the complainant verbally requested leave from his/her group leader, for one month until the mid-autumn festival, and his/her leave application was verbally approved.

After autumn festival, on the 16 September, 2019, the complainant returned to the factory and said the low season was too long, and he/she could not make enough money to support his/her family. As a result, he/she requested to resign from the factory. The group leader said that according to factory’s regulation, workers shall inform the factory one month in advance. The group leader suggested the complainant to stay for another month and then resign. The complainant did not want to stay for another month, so he/she resigned on his/her own initiative. However, his/her last month’s salary from 1 to 25 July 2019 was not paid.
The complainant called FWF for help with the hope of getting his/her last month’s salary, totaled 3361 RMB. A pay slip was shared by the complainant to prove his/her last month's salary as well.

Findings and conclusions

On 26 September, FWF received a complaint from a former sewing worker working at a factory that supplied OSC. As the factory was in low season from July to September, on the 25 July 2019 the complainant verbally requested leave from his/her group leader, for one month until the mid-autumn festival, and his/her leave application was verbally approved.

After the autumn festival, on the 16 September, 2019, the complainant returned to the factory and said the low season was too long, and he/she could not make enough money to support his/her family. As a result, he/she requested to resign. The group leader said that according to factory’s regulation, workers shall inform the factory one month in advance. The group leader suggested the complainant to stay another month and then resign. The complainant did not want to stay for another month, so he/she resigned on his/her own initiative. However, his/her last month’s salary from 1 to 25 July 2019 was not paid by the factory.

The complainant called FWF for help, with the hope of getting his/her last month’s salary, totaled 3361 RMB. FWF reached out to OSC, the FWF brand sourcing at this factory and they relayed the complaint to the factory.

The factory responded by stating that the complainant had caused an economic damage to the factory with his/her absence. FWF informed the brand that the factory claimed that economic damage was done to the factory. The factory was asked to provide proof of this damage and how the worker was properly informed of the resignation policy, according to the law. FWF requested OSC to reach out to the factory to request the evidence of their economic loss due to his/her resignation and their resignation policy and how it is communicated to the employees.

The factory offered to pay the complainant RMB 2688 (20% less of his/her monthly wage of 3361) as long as the complainant sent them a signed resignation letter.

FWF reached out to the complainant and he/she agreed to be deducted 20% of his/her wage as an economic loss compensation to the factory. He/she also wrote a resignation letter as requested which was forwarded by FWF to OSC and the factory.

The factory provided a bank slip with a payment of RMB 2688 to the worker. FWF reached out to the worker and he/she confirmed to have received the amount.

Since FWF could not verify the economic loss of the factory and did not receive signed evidence that the worker was aware of the law, it was negotiated between the factory and the worker that 80% of the July salary would be paid to the worker. This case is closed.

Overview of the complaint investigation

2019-09-26 Investigation

FWF informed OSC, the FWF brand sourcing at this factory. OSC reached out to the factory.

2019-10-12 Investigation

The factory responded the following:
The employee seriously violated our company's Human Resource Management System and workshop discipline standard, which hindered the normal operation of the workshop production plan and caused great bad effects to staffs on-the-job as well. In order to provide better service to our customers and to manage our workshop operation more effectively, we will follow below treatment on account of Labor Law:

1- Deduct allowance: CNY82.72
The staff left without permission and authorization on Sep 15th, as absenteeism treatment. So we will deduct all his allowance and benefits of July, which is company’s subsidy for working employees on the day they are not on duty.

2 - Company’s loss: 25% of workshop average salary
We are specialized in garment business, customers’ delivery is very important, so production plan should be developed one month ahead, turnover of personnel will affect production plan seriously, especially absent immediately without reasons. Minimum loss is calculated by 25% of workshop average salary.
Cumulative deduction amount: 82.72+5200*25%=1382.72CNY
Finally deserved salary: 3361-1382.72=1978.28CNY

In addition to minimum wage standard of our city, the staff’s minimum wage of July is 2543.64CNY, so we will pay 2543.64CNY to him as salary. If FWF has no objection to the treatment, we will contact this staff at once, if he confirmed to resign and leave right now, we will settle the payment at the same time.

2019-10-17 Investigation

FWF mentioned that the factory claims that economic damage is done to the factory, since the worker left without notice one month in advance, and they want to apply the Labor Law on this case. In this case, the factory needs to provide proof of this damage for the factory and how the worker was properly informed of the resignation policy, according to the law. FWF requests OSC to reach out to the factory to request the evidence of their economic loss due to his resignation and their resignation policy and how it is communicated to the employees.

2019-10-17 Investigation

Factory provided proof for the staff's absenteeism.
2-25% economic losses should be charged for staffs who apply for resignation and leave right now, except for special circumstances such as pregnancy, illness, personal reasons, etc. Please refer to the following provisions: The “Interim Provisions on Wages Payment” that employers are not allowed to deduct wages of workers, except personal income tax, social welfare, withholding maintenance fees and maintenance payments. If the employer causes economic losses to the employer due to the employee's own reasons, the employer may require it to compensate for economic losses in accordance with the labor contract.

2019-10-18 Investigation

FWF checked the document provided by the factory and it was a disciplinary notice issued by factory to officially inform the complainant that he/she was absent from work without informing the factory in advance, and his/her absenteeism on the 15 September 2019 has caused negative influence to the production line. This is not a proof of absenteeism or proof of economic loss.

2019-11-07 Investigation

OSC reached out to the factory again to request the factory if they have signed evidence that the worker was aware of the law.

2019-11-08 Investigation

All agree that the law is binding. If this case would come in Court, the factory needs to provide the proof the amount of losses they made, which will be very difficult to proof and FWF can also not make a judgement on this.
As far as FWF is aware the factory can only claim 20% back from the salary. The complainant stated that he/she verbally requested leave from 25 July -1 Sept., which was approved by the line manager. Since he/she could not make enough salary and the factory still didn’t have much work, he/she left the factory, without one month notice, on 1 September. He/she asked for the 1 month salary from 1-25 July that he/she worked, totaled 3361 RMB. (A pay slip was shared by the complainant to prove his/her previous month's salary as well).

2019-11-08 Conclusion of the investigation

OSC mentions the word of the worker and management are different regarding request for leave which is going to be hard to prove one way or another. Fact is that when the complainant came back to the factory on the 1st of September he/she left without notice, but at that time the salary of July was still not paid.
FWF mentioned that the factory claims that economic damage is done to the factory, since the worker left without notice one month in advance, and they want to apply the Labor Law on this case. In this case, the factory needs to provide proof of this damage for the factory and how the worker was properly informed of the resignation policy. FWF requested OSC to reach out to the factory to request the evidence of their economic loss due to his resignation and their resignation policy and how it is communicated to the employees.

2019-11-08 Remediation

OSC suggests to negotiate a figure with the factory which would be less than the 25% penalty they are suggesting against the total monthly wage of 3361.
FWF thinks, according to the law, the worker has the right to the full one month salary (1-25 July), that the worker worked for the factory, unless the factory can proof their economic losses, which will be difficult and FWF cannot judge on.

2019-11-08 Remediation

OSC responds the following:
1. Is the debate about a verbal agreement between him/her and his manager in the first place.
2. He/she did return to work, however he decided to quit without working a months notice.
3. He/she didn't write a resignation letter.
4. There appears to be a law that a factory can deduct money against loss of production.
OSC will request full payment, but is not 100% sure it is correct based on the above.

2019-11-13 Remediation

OSC came back and the factory have offered to pay the complainant RMB 2688 which is a 20% reduction of his/her monthly wage 3361, as long as the complainant sends them a signed resignation letter.

2019-11-16 Remediation

FWF reached out to the complainant and he/she agreed to be deducted 20% of his wage as an economic loss compensation to the factory. He/she also wrote a resignation letter as requested by factory which was forwarded by FWF to OSC and the factory.

2019-11-21 Verification

Factory provided a bank slip with payment of RMB 2688 to the worker.

2019-11-21 Evaluation of the complaint

FWF reached out to the worker and he/she confirmed the proper receipt of the RMB 2688.

2019-11-21 Closed

Since FWF could not verify the economic loss of the factory and didn't receive signed evidence that the worker was aware of the law, it was negotiated between the factory and the worker that 80% of the July salary that the worker worked was paid. This case is closed.