Recently, the Beijing Xicheng District People’s Court ruled against a chef’s claim of double salary, overtime pay and severance amounting to RMB 59,400 from a hotel. The chef, who had a service relation with an independent contractor to the hotel, claimed that the hotel did not sign an employment contract with him, contribute social insurance for him or pay him overtime pay, and this led to his resignation from the hotel. The chef asserted that he should be deemed as the hotel’s employee because he received an “excellent employee” certificate from the hotel, which was affixed by the hotel’s seal. However, the court opined that based on the evidence, the chef had a service relationship with the independent contractor, but did not have an employment relationship with the hotel, and thus dismissed the case. The Beijing No.1 Intermediate Court affirmed the judgment on appeal.


The court ruled that the chef did not have an employment relationship with the hotel because: (1) the “excellent employee” certificate could only prove that the chef worked in the hotel’s kitchen; (2) based on the contract agreement between the hotel and the senior chef, the chef should have a service relation with the senior chef; and (3) the senior chef admitted that the chef signed a labor service agreement with him and was not the hotel’s employee. Therefore, the court dismissed all the chef’s all claims against the hotel