China Employee Fired for Taking Toilet Breaks of up to 6 Hours a Day

  • A company in China fired an employee after he had to take toilet breaks of up to 6 hours, per Laodong Daily.
  • The employee underwent surgery for an anorectal issue in December 2014 but was still in pain.
  • He was fired in September 2015. A Chinese court recently upheld the company’s decision. 

A man in China has been fired for spending up to six hours a day in the toilet, sparking an online debate.

The employee, identified by his surname Wang, underwent surgery for an anorectal issue in December 2014 but said he still experienced pain a month later after his surgical wound healed, Shanghai’s Laodong Daily reported on its WeChat social media feed on May 24. 

Wang then started spending three to six hours in the toilet every day from July 2015, according to state-linked Laodong Daily, which focuses on labor-related news.

In particular, Wang visited the toilet 22 times between September 7 and September 17, 2015, which came up to two to three visits each workday, according to company records, the outlet reported. Each toilet break ranged from 47 minutes to 196 minutes, or over 3 hours, per the records from the unidentified firm in the northern city of Tianjin.

Wang was then terminated from employment in September 2015, with his employer citing provisions in the staff handbook relating to tardiness, leaving work early, and authorized absences.

Wang sought arbitration to reinstate his position in October 2015 and the two parties began a lengthy lawsuit to resolve the labor dispute.

The case finally reached Tianjin’s high court, which ruled that Wang’s bathroom stints were not within “reasonable and normal physiological needs.” Wang did not get this job back.

The case sparked discussion on Chinese social media.

A re-post of the news by Chinese Communist Party-linked The Paper generated over 6,000 responses and 11,500 likes since it was posted on May 24.

“In the toilet for three, four hours? Was he sleeping in there?” asked one Weibo microblog user who was commenting on the news.

“So how many hours are you actually working?” asked another Weibo user who added a laughing emoji.

“Being paid to shit is just too much,” said another.

Some users were sympathetic to Wang’s plight, saying he was suffering from the after-effects of his medical procedure.

“He had his own difficulties, nobody would want this to happen,” said another user.

Some companies in China have come under scrutiny for cracking down on toilet breaks, per South China Morning Post in a Thursday report. In 2021, a tech company in southern China angered employees by fining those who use the toilet more than once a day, per SCMP.

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