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Woman with 'Unfavorable Looks' Settles with Employer
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A 23-year-old woman, who has accused a Shanghai education training company of firing her because of her "unfavorable looks", settled with her employer on Friday and will continue to work in the company.


The two sides reached an agreement after mediation on Wednesday and Friday. Qiu Zi will stay in the company, not as a teacher, but in a role where she promotes the company's charity work, according to the company.


Qiu appealed to the Xuhui District labor disputes arbitration office and asked Shanghai Jiaotong University Only Education Group to pay 10,000 yuan (US$1,288) for rupture of contract and to refund a training fee of 260 yuan (US$33).


The company, which has denied that it has a discriminatory employment policy, issued a statement on Friday in which it calls on society to pay attention to the damage discrimination does to victims.


Qiu, from central China's Henan Province, has an abnormally bighead because she suffered from hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, when she was born.


She graduated from the English education department of a college in Henan's Shangqiu City and was hired by the Only Education Group on Dec. 1, 2006, after 15 days of teacher training at a branch of the group in Zhengzhou, the provincial capital.


She was told to report to another branch of the group in eastern Zhejiang Province on Dec. 21. However, after meeting with the head of the Zhejiang branch on Dec. 24, Qiu received a call from Shanghai asking her to return to Zhengzhou.


Qiu said she returned to Zhengzhou on Dec. 26 and was told by a branch manager called Zhao Yan that her appearance did not meet the requirements of the Zhejiang branch.


"Since then, they have refused to honor the contract and to give me another job. They say that my looks are not suitable," Qiu said.


Qiu turned to the media, saying she feared the Only Education Group would never give her another job.


However, the company refuted Qiu's allegation, saying that ZhaoYan is not in charge of personnel matters and the company has never fired Qiu.


We just need a little time to arrange another post for Qiu, said the company.


(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2007)

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