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Retired Worker Receives Overtime Payment

Wang lodged a lawsuit against his former employer for overtime payment, and recently, the court issued its judgment of first instance and ordered the defendant to pay RMB 24,168.89 to the plaintiff as overtime wage for weekends and public holidays, as well as payment in lieu of Annual Leave from May 2011 to December 2012.

Case in brief:

The plaintiff Wang and the defendant, a certain Chengde Company, established labour relations in 2001, and both parties signed a labour contract in July 2008. In May 2013, the defendant terminated their labour contract because the plaintiff had reached the statutory retirement age. Later on the plaintiff submitted a labour arbitration application on grounds of the defendant's refusal to pay overtime payment. The arbitration commission refused to accept this application as the plaintiff had exceeded the statutory retirement age and was disqualified as a labour dispute arbitration subject. The plaintiff then lodged a lawsuit and asked the defendant to pay overtime payment from June 2007 to December 2011.

Judgment:

The court held that, in accordance with the fourth Term of Article 27 in the Law of the People's Republic of China on Mediation and Arbitration of Labour Disputes, during the period when labour relations have been established, should a dispute arise over a default in the payment of labour remuneration, application for arbitration by the worker concerned shall not be restricted by the limitation period for arbitration prescribed in the first paragraph of this Article. However, where labour relations have been terminated, application for arbitration shall be submitted within one year from the date of termination of labour relations.

Although the plaintiff had terminated labour relations with the defendant due to exceeding the statutory retirement age, the plaintiff still had the right of claim to resolve disputes that had occurred during the period of labour relations. Furthermore, though the plaintiff's claim would not be limited to the arbitration time limit, it should follow a prescribed litigation period, thus the right of the plaintiff to claim for labour payment should be processed based on the regulation concerning the two-year litigation time limit. The plaintiff submitted his arbitration application on 3 May 2013, thus the court only supported his claim for overtime payment from May 2011 to December 2012. Moreover, the court had supported the plaintiff's claim for payment in lieu of Annual Leave in 2012. Due to exceeding the arbitration time limit, the plaintiff's claim for payment in lieu of Annual Leave from 2007 to 2011 was not supported by the court. To sum up, the court made thejudgment.

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