On June 20, 2013, the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court issued a fine of RMB 50,000 to an employer for deliberately submitting evidence beyond the time limit. This became the first penalty decision made by the Beijing First Intermediate People's Court to punish the litigant who delayed submitting evidence without justified reasons, and violated the principle of good faith.

In 2012, two employees applied for labor dispute arbitration, requiring their employer (the “Company”) to pay salaries in arrears, the balance between the double salary for not entering into written employment contract and the already paid salary, and relevant severance. The Arbitration Commission supported the employees’ claims.

The Company then filed a suit, requiring the court to rule that there is no employment relationship between the Company and the employees. However, the two employees submitted evidence to prove the existence of employment relationship during the first instance, and the court of the first instance rejected the Company’s claim.

The Company appealed, and submitted employment contracts with the two employees. Since this newly introduced evidence made the basic fact of the case (the existence and authenticity of the employment contract) unclear, the court of the second instance revoked the judgment of the first instance and remanded for retrial. Meanwhile, the Company was fined RMB 50,000 by the court of the second instance, for its conduct of deliberately submitting evidence beyond the time limit without justified reasons, which constitutes severe violation to the principle of good faith and interference of the normal judicial proceedings.

(Case Source: the official website of Chinese Court)

KWM Comments:

In labor dispute cases, some employers may deliberately delay submitting evidence or even commit perjury, breaching the good faith principle provided by the Civil Procedural Laws. Pursuant to Article 65 of the Civil Procedural Laws, where the litigant submits evidence beyond the time limit, the People's Court shall order the litigant to give a reason; where the litigant refuses to give a reason or the reason is found unjustified, the People's Court may determine the evidence not admissible, or admissible with admonition or fine to the litigant, according to different circumstances. Therefore, the employer should obey the principle of good faith and submit real evidence in time to avoid unnecessary legal risks.