What Are The Weirdest Employment Laws Worldwide?

Most people who have been working more than a year or two have experienced their fair share of dinnertime story events — many of which were probably based on a whacky U.S. law that should never have been written. Sometimes courts don’t allow certain documents to be revised. Sometimes OT laws are overbearing for an employer. Sometimes direct deposit is mandated by an employer. But when you look at laws across the globe, ours are just the tip of the iceberg. 

You don’t have the right to bathroom breaks in the United States — if those breaks come often. That means an employer could technically outline how many bathroom breaks you’re allowed in an employment agreement.

New Zealand citizens who are caught wearing a “funny” hat into work might receive a massive 10 percent pay cut for breaking a uniform code. Who’s laughing now?

Ever wonder why Japanese citizens are so thin? It’s because of the “Metabo Law,” which requires employers to measure employee waistlines. Ate too much before the measurement? Tough luck. You might find yourself in mandatory dieting classes. And you thought U.S. labor laws were draconian.

Still, they might not be as bad as laws in China! There, women are legally barred from “physically demanding” jobs like mining or logging. And don’t even think of carrying heavy goods!

We’re surprised Portugal doesn’t have higher immigration rates — because once you take a job, you can lock yourself in for good. That’s because it’s illegal to fire an employee in the country. You need to offer them a deal to get them to leave. Granted, they are probably much more careful about who they hire than your typical American employer. A similar law in India requires government oversight in order to fire an employee when the company has more than 100.

In Isesaki, Japan, employees are required to stay clean-shaven. The law resulted from an old man’s encounter with a “hairy” individual.

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