A female employee at NIO has disclosed that the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer’s business volume has significantly increased in the last six months, resulting in severe overtime situations. The employee, whose surname is Chen, presented a document indicating that she had worked almost 500 hours of overtime. Chen explained that her role involved managing product operations and handling numerous projects on a regular basis.
Before, she had acute gastroenteritis. In her recent physical examination, 21 abnormalities were found including high blood pressure, high blood lipids, and abnormal liver function. She experienced fever multiple times during overtime work but only went to the emergency room when she vomited and had diarrhea. This has happened three times already. She reported her situation to the company repeatedly in hopes of reducing her workload or adjusting her position but did not receive effective solutions.
The communication recording that she provided to the human resources department of NIO indicates that the company does not promote overtime work and it is optional for employees. However, in certain situations where customer demands need to be met, additional effort may be necessary. Following negotiations, the department offered her a total compensation of 120,000 yuan ($17,407) if she agreed to resign and refrain from disclosing any further information publicly.
Chen expressed her disagreement with the conditions and clarified that her intention was to raise awareness about NIO‘s treatment of its employees. She hoped that this would draw attention from both society and the government for further supervision.
In China, the legal workweek is 40 hours or eight hours per day. Employers can extend employees’ work hours by one hour per day if agreed upon by the relevant trade union. However, according to Chinese labor law, employers cannot exceed three extra working hours per day or 36 additional working hours in a month.
Netizens expressed their views on social media, questioning the company’s practices. They raised concerns about the negative impact of overworking employees on their health and productivity. Some pointed out that while the company claims to discourage overtime work, it still expects one person to handle multiple tasks. Others criticized companies with financial resources for disregarding employee rights and dignity in an attempt to avoid accountability for illegal behavior.