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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 May 17 - 23  > Medical device maker ordered to compensate female workers for damages caused by ‘power harassment’
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2017 May 17 - 23 [LABOR]

Medical device maker ordered to compensate female workers for damages caused by ‘power harassment’

May 20, 2017
The Nagano District Court on May 17 ordered a subsidiary of Japan’s major medical electronic equipment maker Fukuda Denshi Co., Ltd. and the subsidiary head to jointly pay 3.57 million yen in damages for power harassment to four female workers.

The four plaintiffs worked at the Fukuda Denshi subsidiary in Nagano Prefecture. They were driven to resign after experiencing power harassment from the subsidiary president.

The four former Fukuda Denshi workers in the court battle insisted that the company head frequently made abusive remarks against them such as “The company needs to replace older workers with younger ones.” Those in their 50s were required to submit a work transfer request. They argued that these remarks constituted power harassment aimed at forcing them to accept early retirement. One of the four revealed that she repeatedly suffered unreasonable bonus cuts and disciplinary penalties.

The court recognized the company president’s remarks as power harassment. Regarding the worker who received unfair treatment, the court nullified the penalty orders by saying that the company took those actions with the aim of forcing her to quit.

The four workers waged their struggle against the Fukuda subsidiary by joining the Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (JMITU). Following the court decision, the four, together with the union, petitioned the company to negotiate with them for a full and early settlement without appealing to a higher court.
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