School apologizes over firing of ill teacher
A college in Gansu province that fired a teacher who died from ovarian cancer later apologized to the victim’s family and promised to pay compensation.
Lanzhou Jiaotong University’s Bowen College, which made the move on Tuesday during a visit by its officials to the teacher’s home, said it would pay 500,000 yuan ($75,000) in compensation for medical fees and relief money.
The college also promised onMonday to pay the teacher a backdated salary of 57,600 yuan for the period from September 2014 to August this year, when she was not at school, and a consolation payment of 14,400 yuan to her family.
Chen Ling, dean of the college, said during the visit that she was sorry and that the school’s earlier handling of the matter was not appropriate.
The teacher, Liu Lingli, 32, taught English at the college. When she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2014 she applied for a sixmonth sick leave.
When the leave ended, Liu was fired for long-term absenteeism. The college claimed she did not extend her leave in time and that it did not know about her condition at the time. Liu died on Aug 14. Following her death, members of the public and media outlets called the college inhumane for firing a teacher who was suffering from cancer.
“What’s the point ofanapology and compensation after she has died? Would the college apologize if the case had not been exposed?” a netizen named Wojiayoulianghouzi wrote.
Another netizen on social media, named Tingzhongren, said the college should be investigated and punished.
The dismissal left Liu with no income and no social insurance, which resulted in financial strain on her family as they struggled to pay for her cancer treatments.
The family sued the college over the dismissal.
Two local courts ruled that the dismissal was not justified because Liu’s absence did not constitute leave without permission, or absenteeism.
Liu’s father said the college had not made any comment on the courts’ rulings until Monday, when it promised the payments and suspended the head of its human resources department, Jiang Xueyun, for her mishandling of Liu’s case.
Liu’s father signed a compensation agreementonTuesday with the college, which said the school would pay the agreed compensationamount within two days, according to a report by cnr.cn.
Three other employees of the college with serious diseases were also fired after taking sick leave, Beijing News reported.
After Liu’s case was exposed, the college contacted one of them on Monday, promising reemployment and payment of compensation, according to a report by Huashang Daily.
What’s the point of an apology and compensation after she has died? Would the college apologize if the case had not been exposed?” A netizen namedWojiayoulianghouzi