Taiwan court sentences Foxconn to pay compensation to laid-off manager

Dismissal was illegal: Taiwan High Court

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Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou

Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Foxconn Technology Group will have to pay compensation in money and company stock to a manager who was sacked as he was unable to leave a plane to return to his office for a meeting, a court ruled Friday (April 19).

The verdict came shortly after Foxconn founding Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) declared his intention to run for the Kuomintang nomination for the January 11, 2020 presidential election.

The conflict started when a secretary made a mistake when arranging days off for company manager Hsieh Kuan-hung (謝冠宏) in October 2012, the Liberty Times reported.

The mistake was only discovered when Hsieh had already boarded a flight to Japan, and Gou phoned him to call him back for a meeting. Hsieh told his boss the doors had already been closed and passengers were no longer allowed to leave the aircraft, but Gou insisted and put a choice before him, either return immediately and travel to Japan the next day, or face dismissal and never return to Foxconn, the Liberty Times reported.

Hsieh sued the company for having laid him off illegally, and demanded compensation. The New Taipei District Court ruled the dismissal was not illegal, yet Foxconn should still pay Hsieh NT$1.9 million (US$61,000).

However, on Friday the Taiwan High Court reversed the lower court’s verdict and ruled Foxconn had been unable to prove that Hsieh’s day off had hurt the company. The layoff was illegal, so Foxconn should pay NT$1.5 million and give Hsieh 235,000 shares in the company, according to the Liberty Times. No appeals were possible against the verdict.