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February 8, 2012

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Apple ordered to pay for not hiring worker

APPLE was ordered to pay 35,000 yuan (US$5,549) compensation to a man it intended to hire as a local Apple store manager but rejected after the man failed a background check, the Pudong New Area People's Court ruled yesterday.

The 39-year-old plaintiff surnamed Xiong sued Apple for failing to complete the labor contract, which he said caused him to be unemployed because he quit his job as a supermarket manager to apply for the new position.

Xiong said a headhunting company called him last June and recommended he apply for the store manager position. Considering that working for Apple meant better career development and salary, Xiong sent his application and received an offer on July 4 after going through three rounds of job interviews, the court heard.

In the e-mailed offer, Apple offered Xiong an annual salary of nearly 200,000 yuan and said an investigation was under way to check his background. If Xiong failed the check, Apple would cancel the offer.

Xiong said Apple sent him a notice asking him to fill out an employee information form and prepare proof that his labor contract with his former employer had been terminated.

To get the proof, Xiong had to quit his supermarket job. He then received another e-mail from Apple asking him to attend a training class for new store managers on July 17 and get all his materials ready for recruitment procedures.

But on July 19, Xiong got a call from Apple saying it had withdrawn the offer because Xiong failed the background check.

"The news came like a bolt from the sky. I am now jobless," Xiong told the court.

Apple said it was not satisfied with the candidate's background report as one of Xiong's former employers made a comment about his low ability to achieve sales targets and Xiong also had complains from suppliers.

Xiong demanded 65,000 yuan in compensation, but Apple insisted that it did nothing wrong as it had informed the plaintiff that he would not be employed if he fails the background check.

"It is a conditional offer," Apple told the court.

The court said that although Apple had warned Xiong in advance, its final decision still caused Xiong losses, which is against the principle of honesty. Under Chinese Civil Law, Apple was ordered to pay 35,000 yuan to Xiong.


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