Malaysia: Government extends period of maternity leave, raises penalities for illegal retrenchment
21 March, 2022: Malaysian government approved Employment (Amendment) Bill , 2021 containing 28 amended clauses and 10 new clauses which better workers’ protection against exploitation. The amended act extends maternity leave from the existing 60 to 98 days and prohibits termination of female employees who are pregnant or suffering from illness arising out of pregnancy, except on grounds relating to misconduct, wilful breach of the employment contract or closure of business. Further, the new Act has provisions for a seven-day paid paternity leave for married men.
The Act also raised the maximum penalty for offences from existing RM10,000 to RM50,000.
Taiwan: Supreme Court overturns lower court order, holds Radio Corps America responsible for causing cancer to workers
13 March, 2022: The Supreme Court of Taiwan ruled in favour of 222 former Radio Corp of America (RCA) workers who had been exposed to cancer-causing chemicals, overturning a 2020 lower court decision that denied their damage claims. The Supreme Court remanded the case back to the High Court, observing that the exposure to toxic chemicals breached the appellants’ constitutional rights.
Separately, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling from March 2020 that awarded NT$54.7 million (US$1.93 million at the current exchange rate) in compensation to 24 other plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit brought by former RCA employees and relatives of deceased or injured workers against RCA, its parent company and successor entities in 2004.
Qatar: International Transport Workers’ Federation signs MoU with Ministry of Labour
3 March, 2022: he Ministry of Labour of Qatar today signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) building upon a previous agreement as part of an International Labour Organisation (ILO) technical project. The MoU outlines cooperation on transport worker rights over the next two years on the following matters:
- Wage protection
- Labour inspection policy and occupational safety and health
- Recruitment and working conditions
- Combating human trafficking
- Promoting a voice for workers and giving them access to justice
Haiti: Government hikes minimum wage by up to 54% following worker protests
22 February, 2022: Long drawn protests by workers for wage rise in accordance with rising inflation has yielded up to 54% raise in minimum wages by the government. Workers in the garment and apparel sector, who faced the brunt of police brutality during the protests have received 37% pay hike bringing their hourly wages to $7.5.
Zimbabwe: High Court dismisses suspension of striking teachers
17 February, 2022: Zimbabwe’s High Court held the decision of Ministry of Education to suspend striking teachers illegal and ordered their immediate reinstatement. While voiding government’s three-month suspension of striking teachers, the court observed that the Ministry overstepped its authority. School teachers had gone on strike in the capital city of Harare over poor wages as schools were set to reopen after a long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
USA: California state sues Elon Musk’s Tesla for racially discriminating among workers
13 February, 2022: California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has filed a suit against Elon Musk’s automobile company Tesla after receiving hundreds of complaints by its workers and nearly a three-year investigation. DFEH found evidence that Tesla operates a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion.