Employment Discrimination in China: The Current Situation and Principle Challenges

TitleEmployment Discrimination in China: The Current Situation and Principle Challenges
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLu, J.
JournalHamline Law Review
Pagination133 - 190
Keywordsanti-discrimination, China, discrimination law, employment discrimination, labor law

China's legal system continues to struggle with the political and social complications of its rapid economic development. One of the more glaring tensions in the New China is the treatment of workers in a capitalist economy nested within a socialist political system. Employment Discrimination in China: Current Situations and Principle Challenges is the first paper in a series of papers I am writing on the issue of employment discrimination in China. Research on employment discrimination is quite a recent thing in China, yet as early as in 2002, I was involved in several high-profile anti-discrimination cases and served as a legal counsel for plaintiff in one of them. I was also a participant in the initial employment discrimination research program in west China directed by Professor Zhou Wei of Sichuan University law school in 2003-04.

This paper provides the most complete account to date of the current status of employment discrimination in China, how it affects job applicants and employees, and what the law is doing about it. Much of the data comes from empirical research projects this author conducted with Professor Zhou, and has never been presented in English before. The paper discusses the relevant Chinese laws from an analytical perspective. It then presents the obstacles China faces in tackling employment discrimination through its existing legal scheme. Like many contemporary Chinese stories, the discrimination story is about change. We do not know how this story will end, but it makes interesting reading for the international and comparative lawyer.