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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 21 - 27  > Osaka court judges Japan Post’s discrimination against fixed-term workers to be unfair
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2018 February 21 - 27 [LABOR]

Osaka court judges Japan Post’s discrimination against fixed-term workers to be unfair

February 22, 2018
The Osaka District Court on February 21 issued a ruling acknowledging Japan Post’s allowance-related inequality between fixed-term workers and regular workers as illegal and ordered the company to pay around three million yen in back pay to the eight plaintiffs working fixed-term contracts.

The eight fixed-term contract workers are members of the Postal Industry Workers’ Union (PIWU) and working at post offices in Hiroshima, Osaka, and nearby prefectures.

At Japan Post, inequalities exist between non-regular and regular workers. Non-regular workers cannot receive what regular workers do, such as allowances for working during the New Year holidays. Non-regular workers cannot receive housing or dependent allowances. The annual amount of the bonus payment is one million yen lower for fixed-term employees. Summer and winter vacations as well as paid sick leave are exclusively offered to regular workers.

The plaintiffs in the court battle claimed that these discriminatory policies violate Article 20 of the Labor Contract Law banning unfair treatment based on differences in periods of employment.

The court ruling noted that as the New Year holiday allowance is supposed to be given to workers who worked during the busy season as postal workers, and that it is unreasonable for Japan Post to refuse to pay the money to fixed-term employees who worked during the holiday season. The ruling acknowledged non-payments of housing and dependent allowances to be unreasonable as well. On the other hand, the court approved the difference in bonus payments, saying that it is within a reasonable range of personnel management practices. The court turned down the plaintiffs’ request concerning vacations and paid sick leave.

At a press conference held after the ruling, the plaintiffs’ lawyer welcomed the Osaka court ruling that the workplace discrimination is unfair and said, “It will deliver a wakeup shock to not only Japan Post but also to other companies.”

In September 2017, the Tokyo District Court issued a similar ruling.

Past related article:
> Japan Post ordered to end its unfair treatment of non-regular workers [September 15, 2017]
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