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Tall in Spirit, She Does the Job Well

A 1.477-metre tall tax-collector with a contract, sued her work-unit, a Shenzhen govern-ment department, after it refused to recruit her as a permanent civil servant allegedly because of her small stature.

However, the Shenzhen Intermediate People's Court made a judgment earlier this month two years after the lawsuit was brought that the case would not be heard. The court said the matters concerning personnel recruiting by the government are not within its jurisdiction.

"I was totally disappointed after two years' of appeals. At least my case should be given a chance to be judged. Now it seems a hopeless situation and I am ready to give up," the plaintiff, surnamed Fan, said.

She has been working on a fixed-term contract in Shenzhen Taxation Bureau for eight years. Generally, contract workers can earn no more than one third of the salaries of the civil servants.

She applied to take examinations given by the bureau after it decided to recruit 50 civil servants among its contractors in 2002.

The requirement for applicants included one-year's working experience in the bureau, a good educational background and Shenzhen permanent residency. A height requirement was not mentioned, Fan told China Daily.

After examinations, Fan was on the list of top 50.

But the results shocked her, when she was kicked out with the reason given that she is too short to be a civil servant. According to Rules for Recruitment of Guangdong Provincial Civil Servants, males must be at least 1.6 metres tall, and females must be above 1.5 metres to be considered "qualified."

"The height restriction wasn't on the notice of requirements. What's more, the Personnel Bureau permitted me to take my exam after they checked my residence booklet where my height of 1.477 metres is clearly written," Fan complained.

(China Daily February 11, 2004)

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