Techie sacked after jetting to tropical island on sick leave

'Let me tell you, I recuperated at home, and I followed the doctor's advice to recuperate at home'

To China now, where a tech worker learned the hard way that a) you don't book a holiday before you have time off confirmed, and b) you definitely don't then take sick leave and go on holiday anyway.

According to National Business Daily, the worker, named only as Xu, was sacked by his unidentified Beijing-based employer because he had applied for sick leave across July 18-31 2019 citing "dizziness and cervical spondylosis" – then spent it on the tropical southern island of Hainan, popularly known as the "Hawaii of China."

While we can well imagine that sipping piña coladas beneath the shade of palm trees could soothe any manner of ailments, the problem is that Xu had previously had two weeks of paid leave rejected – not once, but twice – because there weren't enough people on duty.

According to a phone conversation with his supervisor that was included in a civil judgment against Xu, he had admitted to already booking the plane tickets and intended to spend some time in Hainan with his child.

With the issue apparently dealt with on his employer's end, Xu resorted to more underhanded tactics and got a doctor's note for the dates prescribing plenty of bed rest, which was duly approved.

But rather than staying bedbound, Xu flew to Hainan where, against all odds, a colleague spotted him at the airport and ratted him out.

In a subsequent phone conversation between Xu and his manager, he said (machine translated): "Let me tell you, I recuperated at home, and I followed the doctor's advice to recuperate at home," to which his boss replied: "It is clear that someone told me they saw you in Hainan."

Two days later, Xu was fired due to "fraudulent and dishonest" sick leave. This sparked a labor tribunal in which Xu was awarded ¥620,000 (about $4,600) – later overturned by a higher court on appeal. A counter-appeal by Xu insisted that he had not done his employer dirty because he owned a property in Hainan and had indeed traveled there to recuperate.

However, the court deemed that traveling by air and high-speed rail was at odds with his supposed condition and agreed that the company was right to sack him.

Not only did our man see $4,600 promptly go up in flames, he's now also jobless and – presumably – with a killer back issue too. ®

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