A Chinese company has sparked controversy online after it was reported that it forces employees to eat raw eggs as punishment for not meeting expectations.
It all started when a second-year university student surnamed Du took to social media to complain about his experience as an intern for a Zhengzhou technology company. He claimed that the said company had a bizarre rule where employees had to swallow raw eggs if they didnâ€™t get enough orders in a set period of time or otherwise failed to meet management expectations.
He claimed to have had his internship terminated after he refused to obey the rule, adding that management made him write down â€œpersonal reasonsâ€ as the reason for ending the internship to absolve the company of any liability.
Duâ€™s revelation sparked outrage online, and a subsequent video posted anonymously and showing employees of the company apparently nauseous while trying to swallow the raw eggs only added fuel to the fire. People called the practice inhumane, warned against the dangers of eating raw eggs, and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, representatives of the company, which has not yet been publically named, didnâ€™t seem too bothered by the backlash. They simply claimed that eating raw eggs is clearly stipulated in the employee handbook, so all of its employees what is required of them.
When Du asked about the legality of the rule, the HR manager allegedly replied with a question of their own â€“ â€œWhat law is preventing you from eating a raw egg?â€
The labor inspection brigade of Jinshui District, Zhengzhou City is reportedly investigating this case, but legal experts claim that they will need more than Duâ€™s testimony, as his unpaid internship doesnâ€™t qualify as employment, so it doesnâ€™t fall under labor laws. However, should any of the other employees testify against the company, things would be different.
Du told reporters that the consumption of raw eggs by employees is used as a form of motivation by the company, which has since been confirmed by management.
Apparently, employees who did not want to consume raw eggs as punishment could opt to swallow a whole tube of mustard insteadâ€¦
While controversial, such forms of punishment are not at all uncommon in China. A few years back, we wrote about one company that forced workers to eat cockroaches for failing to meet sales goals, and then there was another company that made employees crawl through the street to atone for their unsatisfying results.