A driver was nearly fired for taking her daughter to work and letting her sleep on the bus during a night shift. But after strong reaction from social media users, the woman was allowed to keep her job and the bus company offered to change her work hours, according to the Chinese online news outlet Pear Videos.
The woman, named Liu Xiaoqin, drives a bus in Changsha City, Henan Province, China. Liu had to bring her daughter with her on the night shift on May 21 since no one was at home.
An unidentified passenger took pictures of Liu’s daughter sleeping on the bus. When these photos were first shared online, another post claimed that Liu’s employer, W222, said that she may be fired from her position on May 23. The post was followed by many angry comments.
W222 decided not to fire Liu. Instead, she was suspended for two days for violating safety rules.
A Bed on a Bus
The first images were taken by a unidentified passenger and shared on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, showing the girl laying on the front seats, along with her backpack and a school book. The post showed sympathy toward both the mom and daughter about how difficult life can be sometimes, and that they were both hard working.
Liu explained that taking her daughter to work was a rare occurrence, and that her mother usually took care of the girl.
“Her grandma had something to do at that time, and told me to bring my daughter [to work],” Liu told Pear Videos. “It was a long time, and then by eight o’clock, she laid down and went to sleep.”
“That was a rare day, but in the future her grandma will look after her.”
Two days later, a post said that Liu’s company, W222, was going to fire her.
Many Weibo users reacted strongly to the post. User “Incomparable Downfall” wrote: “This company is too heartless! If there’s someone who has a kid, they’d definitely be willing to take them to work!”
User “Big Big Big Golden Goose” wrote: “This company isn’t going to hire women in the future ….”
After the outcry, an employee made a statement on behalf of the company. “At the time our company didn’t know her situation,” an unnamed employee said in a public interview to Pear Videos. “It wasn’t our company’s response.” The employee emphasized that the company puts safety first.
Liu was put on detention for two days. “We gave her a warning for two days,” the bus chief for W222, surnamed Li, told Pear Videos. “We are not dismissing [her]. We’ll do what we can to help her out, so our company is trying to be more accommodating.”
“The company said that if I want to spend more time with my child, [they can] change my schedule so [I] can take care of my child and also go to work,” Liu later said.
Liu is still working for the company, but no information was given if her schedule had changed.