In November 2014, nearly 3,000 workers at the Nokia factory in Dongguan, Guangdong, staged a series of strikes and protests relating to concerns arising from Nokia's decision to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft. Over 200 employees were dismissed for failing to return to work in breach of the company regulations. Some of these employees issued claims against Nokia for illegal dismissal and sought reinstatement. However, as detailed in one recently publicised judgment, the Dongguan Intermediate Court upheld the decision of the district court of first instance that the dismissals had been lawful.
In its decision, the court gave consideration to the company's Employee Handbook, stating that it had been properly formulated and announced to the employees in accordance with the law. The court also held that the provisions contained within the Handbook, specifically that which stipulates that an employee's absence for 3 consecutive days without prior authorisation amounts to a serious violation of company regulations and shall be cause for immediate termination without compensation, are not contrary to any legal requirements and therefore are lawful and valid. As such, since the employee's conduct (i.e. absence from work for 3 consecutive days without authorisation due to participating in the strike) constituted a serious violation under the terms of the Handbook, the company was entitled to terminate her employment without compensation.