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January 22, 2013

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City of London turns back overtime suit

THE parents of a top staff member of the City of London's offices in Shanghai, who said their deceased daughter had worked 16-hour days and overtime on weekends and holidays, failed yesterday in their court demand for nearly 4.5 million yuan (US$723,150) in overtime pay and compensation.

The parents claimed at Jing'an District People's Court that their daughter, identified as Zhang Ying, whose age was not disclosed, was constantly working from November 2005 to April 2011 of the City of London representative office in Shanghai. They added that Shanghai Foreign Service Co Ltd, a third party staffing company, as a second defendant.

The parents said their unmarried daughter started working for the office in 2005 as the only employee. She was promoted to representative of the China office of the City of London in 2010 for outstanding work. The parents provided e-mails to prove their daughter received tasks from the City of London on weekends and holidays. She got an average of 24.6 e-mails and sent 7.5 e-mails every day.

The office said it signed a two-year contract with Zhang covering January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009, which was automatically renewed. According to the contract, Zhang worked five days a week and eight hours a day. The office could ask her to work overtime but she had to get written permission from the company.

The parents had applied to the Jing'an District Arbitration Commission to demand compensation from the defendants after Zhang died on April 21, 2011. The application was rejected, and they filed suit. They sought overtime payment of nearly 3.6 million yuan and 900,000 yuan for compensation.

The court said the evidence couldn't prove their daughter worked overtime, and they failed to provide any written overtime permit.


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