Former employee sues airline for discrimination because of his sexual orientation


Photo: VCG

A court in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong Province, started hearing a suit on Monday lodged by a former employee, who says the airline suspended him because of his sexual orientation.  

The former employee, surnamed Chai, said he was suspended and had his pay cut without cause between October 2019 and April 2020 after a video of him kissing a man, went viral on China’s social media platforms, according to a statement obtained by the Global Times from Peng Yanzi, founder of the LGBT Rights Advocacy of China, on Monday. 

Chai has also filed a lawsuit against the person who posted the video on the internet, according to the statement. 

Chai’s contract with the airline came due on April 12, 2019, but the company refused to renew it. 

Chai is seeking more than 84,000 yuan ($12,558) in compensation including six months’ salary, claiming the company discriminated against him for his sexual orientation.   

The airline told the court it did not suspend Chai but arranged him to do other work on the ground as they worried that the controversy caused by the video would threaten “flight security.”

The airline also said that due to the COVID-19 epidemic, most of its attendants were not working during the first half of this year. 

Peng said he was “disappointed” by the airline’s explanation and called on the company to end discrimination against employees due to their sexual orientation.   

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