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February 25, 2010

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Dell upheld in firing of 'harassed' man

A DISTRICT court has rejected a former Dell employee's request to get his job back though the man explained he used Dell's network system to seek evidence he was being sexual harassed by a woman colleague.

The court did order the Shanghai branch of Dell China to pay 10 days' salary, or 4,400 yuan (US$644), to the former employee surnamed Xin, whom it had fired for sending inappropriate e-mails around the company.

Xin, 34, was employed by Dell's Shanghai company as a senior analyst in December 2006.

He soon found that a woman colleague from Southeast Asia often came over to his desk to touch his body as if by mistake, saying she adored him.

He said she also sent pornographic messages to him. "During a team lunch in January 2007, she even suggested marrying me in front of other colleagues," Xin told the court.

Xin took the woman's behavior as sexual harassment and reported to his department director. The company carried out an investigation without getting solid evidence.

The company separated Xin's workplace from the woman's at the end of 2007. But the woman's behavior continued, Xin said, and the company dismissed his complaints.

Xin thought the company shirked its duty and decided to look for evidence himself. Last July he sent e-mails with the woman's picture attached to more than 50 colleagues to collect testimony.

The company found out and fired Xin two days later, saying he had made serious mistakes.

The Changning District People's Court ruled that Xin should have found a better way to solve the problem if he thought he was harassed and that his irrational behavior had distracted other colleagues.


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