We all know that labor laws are set in place in order to provide some kind of support for both employers as well as employees, making the workplace politics and issues easier to handle and resolve. However, we also know that the laws differ across the board, and what applies in one country doesn’t necessarily apply in the next. Here we round up ten of the wildest labor laws that we know of – be prepared to have your socks knocked off!
US – Bathroom Bans
Apparently, there are no laws in the US workplace that are put in place by the Department of Labor to guarantee that employee has a right to use the bathroom. This means that there is actually a loophole for employers to ban employees from bathroom breaks if they so chose to! We don’t know of any companies that do this, but just knowing that they can and that it would be legal is simply mind-blowing!
Portugal – No Dismissal!
Imagine being employed in a country where there are no laws over termination periods! Portugal’s employment law has no defined termination period and the only way to get an employee laid off is to actually technically beg them and tempt them with a resignation package of sorts! Imagine all the employers in Portugal sitting with their fingers crossed every time they ask someone to leave their job! Now that’s wild.
Germany – Strict Work Hours
If you love being at every evening, then you sure will love working in Germany. The German Labour Ministry actually prohibits managers from having their staff work outside of the nine-to-five hour slot. Nine to five is considered the legal working hour window and anything outside of that should only be in case of emergencies. This is secured in place so as to offer workers protection from self-exploitation.
New Zealand – No Funny Hats
Wearing a strange headpiece won’t just get you laughed at in New Zealand… in fact, your employer may be the one having the last laugh! That’s because wearing a funny hat is considered disrespecting the work dress code, and the punishment for such a breach is actually a pay cut of a minimum of 10%!
Japan – No Fat Workers!
It is actually required of employers in Japan to measure the waistlines of their employees and to ensure that their waistlines remain within the prescribed limits. For male employees, the limit sits at 33.5 inches, while for female employees it sits at 35.4 inches. Should an employee’s waistline exceed these bounds, the employee is required to attend diet classes if they don’t manage to lose the extra weight within three months.
China – No Hard Labour For Females
Women are actually prohibited from physically demanding jobs in China, and these types of jobs include logging timber, mining and high altitude work. Women are not permitted to engage in any work activities that require them to lift anything over 44 pounds. No wonder we don’t see Chinese bodybuilding women! Or do we…
Japan – Beard Ban
It was in 2010 that the Japan government in Isesaki decided to ban all employees from having any facial hair (we presume the women were banned from this, too!). The ban was fixed in place simply because the public had complained that beards were unpleasant. Wow!
Saudi Arabia – No Men In Women’s Stores
In any store that sells products or items specifically targeted for women, like makeup and clothing or bag and shoe stores in Saudi Arabia, men are not permitted to work there. This is because it was revealed that women feel uncomfortable purchasing such items from men.
India – Government Permission to Fire
In India, in companies where the workforce exceeds 100 employees, it is required to obtain permission from the Indian government before any employee may be fired. This is with the exception of cases when employees are guilty of criminal offenses or criminal misconduct. This is a law that has stayed in place since British rule.
Madagascar – No Women To Work At Night
Women are not allowed to have jobs that require them to work at night in Madagascar. This also includes charity work or religious activities that are performed at night. The only exception to this rule of law is if the women are working in what are deemed ‘family establishments’.
Indeed, some countries’ labor laws do reach another level of strange that actually makes them pretty funny if you aren’t used to that kind of thing or haven’t heard it before. Perhaps knowing some of the crazy rules there are out there can help you be that much more appreciative of the rules in your own workplace!