Senior manager suspended over sexual harassment
A senior manager at a China Minsheng Bank Corp Beijing branch has been suspended after he was accused of trying to force a female employee to meet him in a hotel for a sexual encounter.
The disciplinary section of the branch said it had looked into the matter when WeChat messages between the two were discovered, and the company will continue to investigate, according to a report in Legal Evening News on Wednesday.
The disciplinary office could not be reached for a comment.
According to the report, the manager's third-quarter bonus was canceled.
The incident brought public attention immediately after the messages went viral on Thursday.
According to online media reports, the deputy manager of a management bureau surnamed Guan asked a female contract employee to come to a hotel lobby to meet him for a cup of tea on the morning of Aug 17.
Guan asked her repeatedly for a reply to his invitation for a chat and proposed a few hotels for her to decide.
According to the messages, on Sept 7, the female employee replied to Guan's question: "What do you think of what I told you yesterday?" She said in response: "What thought can I have? Aren't you going to fire me?"
The female employee posted another message in the company's social media chat group announcing that she quit her job and didn't want to work with the boss because he has moral issues.
Peng Jin, a lawyer specializing in civil affairs litigation at Yi Fa Law Firm in Beijing, said regulations regarding workplace harassment should be in place to provide grounds for punishment and penalties.
"All workers' rights are protected under the Criminal Law and the Labor Law. However, not all assault activities at workplaces are punishable under legal provisions," she said.
"Therefore, related regulations should be written into employee handbooks to provide means for workers to file complaints. Meanwhile, departments for overseeing workplace harassment should be set up to implement the regulations."
She noted that the workers' union at a workplace and the women's union of a region are also the appropriate organizations to address such issues.
In a separate harassment case involving Bank of China International Holdings Ltd, a female employee in Hong Kong filed a lawsuit against the company's senior executive for being deprived of a bonus after she turned down sexual requests. The case is about to be tried this month, according to a news report by Caixin magazine.