Chinese massage and restaurant workers report abuse

The recession and high supply of low-wage workers is making it harder for Chinese employment agencies to place candidates, World Journal (世界日報) reports. At the same time, workers are vulnerible to abuse, reporting that Chinese employers fire workers without reason and discriminate based on gender, age, and appearance.

Low-income jobs such as restaurants are particularly impacted, according to the Journal. The newspaper cites a restaurant owner who fired a waiter for stealing tips, but later found out that the customer took back some of the money. Another restaurant worker was fired for stealing food in the kitchen, but later the employer discovered it was mice that ate the food.

Since more Chinese are seeking jobs in the massage industry, the employers are becoming more selective, an employment agency staff member told the Journal. Some of them specifically say they are looking for a young woman with an attractive body figure. In order to get hired, some female job seekers disguised their age, got plastic surgery, or gave out sexual favors to employers and customers. As an example, the Journal reports that an employee in a Pasadena massage salon sued her employer for sexual harassment, accusing the male employer of using her training period as an excuse for a free massage and touching her without consent.

Asian Pacific American Legal Center's toll-free legal hotlines provide callers with resources and counseling regarding low-income employment, workers' rights, and discrimination. Visit their website for more information.

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