Staff at a hair salon in Wuxi in Jiangsu province, China, were expected to sell a quota of hair products each day.
If they failed to meet their quotas, what do you think would happen? Progressive counseling, reduced commissions, eventual termination for poor performance?
According to the Daily Mail, the underperforming workers were forced to slap themselves in the face (and pay a fine if their faces didn't get red enough from the slapping), to eat raw chilis and onions, and in some cases to run a 10K.
And the employees who protested were fired (which was probably a blessing, when you think about it), allegedly without pay for the time that they'd already worked.
The article says that in China, "employers are not allowed to humiliate and give corporal punishment to workers. Furthermore, the employer shall be liable for compensation if any harm is done to the worker."
But according to the article, draconian discipline is not that uncommon in China:
Last month, employees at a home improvement firm in Zunyi, Guizhou province, were whipped with belts, forced to drink urine and eat insects because they hadn't reached their targets. In October, 30 male employees at a gym were forced to strip down to their boxers and parade around the streets of Jiangmen, Guangdong for failing to meet their sales quotas. In 2016, an employer in Hanzhong, Shaanxi forced its employees to eat squirming mealworms following their failure to reach targets. Shocking footage from June 2016 shows the boss of Shanxi Changzhi Zhangze Agricultural and Commercial Bank in Changzhi stage paddling eight people. In October 2015, one particularly angry boss made his 12 employeescrawl around a lake in Zhengzhou, Henan as penance for not reaching the expected profit. Many sufferers tore their shirts and trousers during the ordeal and one employee was spotted crying by the side of the road.
(Emphasis added, paragraph breaks omitted.)
Kinda makes that Performance Improvement Plan with 90 days to shape up or ship out seem not so bad, doesn't it?
Robin Shea is a Partner with the law firm of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP and has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act; and class and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage-hour laws; defense of audits by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; and labor relations. She conducts training for human resources professionals, management, and employees on a wide variety of topics.