The Supreme Court rendered the 107-Tai-Shang-1946 Civil Decision of January 30, 2019 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that whether the death of a worker is triggered by the employer’s long-term extension of the work hours of the worker and requirement that the employee should act as an employee and a dispatched worker at the same time in order to evade the daily and weekly work hour limit is an important offensive or defensive method and should be investigated and considered.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant filed a complaint alleging that his inheritee Individual A had been a field operator employed by the Defendant’s company. The inheritee was deceased after he was hospitalized due to a brain stem hemorrhagic stroke triggered by extended overtime work. Obviously aware of the health risk posed by extended overtime work of the employees, the Appellee failed to administer health examination on the employees currently on its payroll and to set up labor safety personnel to conduct safety and sanitation education and training to the employees pursuant to the Law for the Safety and Sanitation of Workers to prevent the workers from sudden deaths due to overwork. Therefore, damages were sought. The original decision held, based on punch card records, that the inheritee had not been subject to any circumstance of physical overload as a result of extended overtime work. Therefore, a determination unfavorable to the Appellant was made. The Appellant appealed.
It was first pointed out in this Decision that when assessing if Individual A had assumed excessive workloads before his death based on the guide at issue, the original trial court first found that the 73 average overtime hours two to six months prior to his death exceeded the 72 hours set forth in such guide. However, the original trial court conversely held that the long-term workload was not heavy since the short-term workload was not heavy. The original decision was certainly flawed for its insufficiency of grounds due to self-contradictory reasons.
It was further pointed out that the Appellant had admitted in the first instance trial that individual A was an employee of the Appellee’s company during September and October 2011 as a part-timer dispatched by Human Resources Dispatch Co., Ltd. and was dispatched to work at the Appellee’s company by such dispatch company at the same time. Therefore, whether the workload during such extended work hours triggered his cerebral hemorrhage should be an important link. In addition, the Appellee caused Individual A to serve as an employee and a dispatched worker to provide services at the same time during the above period to evade the daily and weekly work hour limits under Article 30 of the Labor Standards Law. The original trial court failed to investigate and consider if the dispatch work hours had been included in the calculation of the above 73 extended work hours, which is an important offensive or defensive method. Since the original decision was flawed for insufficiency of grounds and self-contradictory reasons, the original decision was reversed and remanded.