The Taichung District Court ruled in favor of a plaintiff who suffered severe “trigger finger” or stenosing tenosynovitis in her right hand after working at a hair salon for 26 months, awarding her NT$260,000 in damages.
According to the ruling, the plaintiff, who went by the pseudonym A Chieh (阿婕), had worked at a hair salon chain named Hair Shows since 2012 with her contract requiring her to have at least 500 customers a month to make her base salary of NT$25,000, with bonuses of NT$50 for additional customer beyond that.
The plaintiff said that employees worked 12-hour shifts and the job was highly competitive, according to the ruling, adding that none of the employees dared to eat out and always put aside their lunch whenever a customer walked in.
Aside from one or two months in which she received little more than the base pay, the plaintiff made NT$30,000 to NT$39,000 per month — averaging 700 to 850 customers — but the over-work caused irreparable damage to her career, the ruling said.
The plaintiff first experienced strange feelings in her fingers in February last year, with medical reports in March diagnosing stenosing tenosynovitis, the ruling said, adding that the plaintiff took extended leave in May before she finally resigned.
Medical reports from China Medical University Hospital said that long periods of the plaintiff using her thumbs, index fingers and wrists at set angles and in fixed postures caused damage to muscle and tissue structure.
The Taichung District Court ruled that Hair Shows Co should pay A Chieh NT$260,000 for medical fees, overtime fees and base salary when she was unable to work while undergoing treatment.
The ruling could be appealed.
A Hair Shows official surnamed Chen (陳) at the firm’s headquarters in Kaohsiung said the company would appeal.
The company said it is aware that A Chieh has claimed damages in a similar case against a different company, Chen said, adding that evidence would be provided.
Hair Shows employees who know of A Chieh’s allegedly fraudulent claims hope the judiciary rules in the company’s favor, Chen said.
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