Grace Yang

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Working out of Seattle and Beijing, Grace is Harris Bricken’s lead attorney on China labor and employment law matters and the author of a book, the China Employment Law Guide.

Latest Articles

Amending a major term (position/pay) of your China employee’s employment contract involves considerable risk and therefore requires substantial care. Let’s consider a fairly recent case in Jiangsu province. The employee was hired as a senior engineer for product design and development. The employee made roughly RMB 7,000 per month before leaving his job. Several years into his employment, the employer essentially suspended the employee from his original position as the company was going through structural…
China craves stability. High unemployment can cause instability. Today’s South China Morning Post, in an article entitled, China’s small businesses forced to cut back on staff just to survive as economic mood sours amid trade war, talks about how China’s slowing economy is leading to government concerns about joblessness: With the Chinese economy slowing, concern has increased among Chinese policymakers about the outlook for employment, since ensuring a sufficient number of new jobs is…
Unilaterally terminating a female employee in China, especially one who is pregnant, nearly always leads to the terminated employee bringing some sort of legal action. Though there are a few legally permissible grounds for an employer unilaterally terminating a pregnant employee without having to pay severance, those grounds are few and far between and the burden will always be on the employer to prove such ground: e.g., the employee failed to satisfy her conditions of…
With widespread use of WeChat in China (it is China’s leading multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app by far), both employers and employees need to be careful with what they do and say on there. Put simply, what you say or write on WeChat may be used against you in an employment dispute. There have been written Chinese employment decisions where an employer used evidence from WeChat (such as screenshots of an employee’s…
Though China employers are generally not allowed to impose a penalty on an employee who causes his or her employer economic losses, the employer can require the employee compensate the employer for such losses by deducting funds from the employee’s wages. Nonetheless, because wage deductions are a big deal for China employees, special care by employers is required — just as with pretty much anything else involving China employees. If a China employer is to…
If you are a China employer, you need a set of Employer Rules and Regulations that are not only enforceable and up-to-date but also practical for your specific locale in China. Employer rules and regulations are so important because China does not have employment at will and this means that without enforceable rules and regulations you as an employer generally cannot discipline or terminate your employees. Let’s consider a recent case in Guangzhou City. In…
As regular readers of this blog should know, employers in China, (especially foreign employers) face myriad, complicated and hypertechnical local employment laws. One little employer mistake can lead to big and expensive problems. As much as we wish all our employment law clients would first come to us requesting we audit their employment program to bring it into compliance, truth is that about half the time they come to us only after they’ve been hit with…
It is fairly easy for China-based employees to leave their employment. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an employee’s departure/termination, China employers must issue a proof of termination of employment relationship document to the departing employee. It is generally not possible for a China employer to hold the employee to specific performance by making the employee come back work or continue working. Sometimes it is possible for the employer to pursue the departing employee for contract…
It is not news that Chinese labor authorities have been cracking down on employers that fail to make social insurance payments for their employees. What is news is that Chinese labor authorities are taking that enforcement to the next level. Last week, 28 government departments (including the National Development and Reform Commission, the People’s Bank of China, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the State Administration of Taxation) jointly executed a Memorandum…
On September 5, 2018, the PRC National People’s Congress issued a new draft of Several Sections of the PRC Civil Code (the “Draft”) for public comments until early November. The Draft would provide heightened protection against sexual harassment on a national level and would also impose more obligations on China employers. Below are a few highlights of the proposed law. First, and perhaps most importantly, Article 790 defines sexual harassment as unwelcome behavior against another person…