Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) [TSM:US] has fired seven employees citing violation of the company’s core values, as reported by Taipei Times on September 23. TSMC is the world’s largest contract semiconductor company with many leading electronics companies as clients, such as Apple [AAPL:US], Intel [INTC:US], and Nvidia [NVDA:US]. As of the end of 2020, the company had a workforce of over 56,000 people.
TSMC issued a statement regarding the firing of the seven employees, citing “business based on honesty and integrity” as the company’s most important principles, and that the employees have engaged in inappropriate behavior that violates such principles. The company has not disclosed further details on the violations. The seven employees worked in different departments and were fired for different reasons. Local media speculates that the move is related to leaking of customer information by the employees as well as personal trading activities during work hours, though TSMC has denied the speculations.
TSMC has previously fired one or two employees at a time for violation of trade secrets. The move to fire seven people at once is a rare case for the company. According to Taiwan’s Labor Standards Act, the employer is allowed to terminate a labor contract without advance notice if the worker is in serious breach of the labor contract, deliberately damages employer’s properties or discloses technical or confidential information, commits violent act against the employer, or is absent from work without good cause for three consecutive days or a total six days in any month.