Daughter Dies at Work, Company Forces Family to Lend RMB100,000

By Linda Guo, July 29, 2022

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On July 26, a 22-year-old woman in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, died after suffering from complications caused by long working hours. 

On July 9, the woman, named Huihui, who worked in the operations department at a media company, was sent to ICU after she suddenly stopped breathing. After 17 days in hospital, Huihui passed away.

Huihui had been staying up and working until 5am for 5 days in a row. By the time she arrived at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, she had stopped breathing. 

According to doctors, Huihui was unconscious and her whole body had turned purple. She was diagnosed with myocarditis. 

Myocarditis is a rare condition where the heart becomes thick and inflamed and may also become weak. 

Heart transplant surgery could have saved Huihui’s life, but her family could not afford the procedure.

According to China’s Occupational Injury Insurance Ordinance, “Death from sudden disease during working hours or death within 48 hours after emergency treatment fails” is considered an injury at work, and victims should receive “insurance benefits of injury at work”. 

Huihui’s company paid RMB100,000 in medical costs. However, they forced her parents to sign an IOU, changing the payment into a loan. Afterwards, they refused to contact the patient’s family. 

Huihui’s family are from Jiangxi province, and didn’t have enough money to cover the operation because they live in “extreme poverty.”

In 2015, their eldest son died in a car accident.

They also took out several loans so their daughter could go to university. To reduce the financial burden on her family, Huihui worked long hours without rest. 

According to the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China, “The extended working hours shall not exceed three hours per day and 36 hours per month under the condition that the health of workers is protected”. 

READ MORE: Death of Tech Worker Renews Concerns Over '996' Work Culture

[Image via Flickr]

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