By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) – An art teacher in China has won a legal battle against her employer, which sacked her in June last year after a "cat jumped into the camera's view five times" during a virtual class.
Employers should not set expectations on employees while working from home, according to a ruling given by a local court in southern Guangzhou.
According to a BBC report published on Thursday and sourced from a Chinese daily and a radio station in Guangzhou, teacher Luo won the lawsuit she brought in the court after her employer, an education technology company, refused to accept the decision through arbitration.
The company was asked to compensate the teacher for “unfair dismissal,” but it chose to contest it in court instead.
Judge Liao Yajing from the Guangzhou Tianhe People's Court, however, observed: “if employers require their staff to work from home, they should not have the same expectations as if they were working in an office.”
The education tech company had accused Luo of “non-teaching activities during class.” She was also marked 10 minutes late during a previous class.
“The employer's rules should not only comply with the laws but should also be fair and reasonable,” the judge stressed.
Luo won around 40,000 yuan ($6,000) in the lawsuit.
The pandemic-induced new normal has been a boost for the online education sector. China is the market leader in this field, although academic tutors are not allowed to profit from it.
Many such instances are available online where children or domestic cats are seen interrupting virtual meetings during the pandemic time.