School apol­o­gizes over fir­ing of ill teacher

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XUECHAOHUA in Lanzhou and ZHANG YU in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at zhangyu1@chi­

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

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

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