Mazda temp-staff practice ruled illegal

Mazda temp-staff practice ruled illegal Yamaguchi court: Displaced 13 should be regular employees http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/14/national/mazda-temp-staff-practice-ruled-illegal/#.UVFDtL8WZZJ YAMAGUCHI – The Yamaguchi District Court ruled Wednesday that Mazda Motor Corp.’s temp-staff employment practice is illegal and recognized regular employee status for 13 former temp-staff workers displaced by the automaker. The rare recognition that displaced temporary workers should be regular employees … Read more

Teachers are workers, not martyrs: the severance scandal that isn’t

Saints or sinners?: Some media outlets and politicians appear to be apoplectic over the decision by some state school teachers to retire months early to safeguard potentially millions of yen in severance pay. | AP Story originally published in Japan Times “Teachers quitting before graduation?!” the headlines screamed as we headed into the new year. … Read more

AKB48: Unionize and take back your lost love lives

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/01/22/how-tos/akb48-unionize-and-take-back-your-lost-love-lives/#.UQ5ewt1VmjM BY HIFUMI OKUNUKI They started performing on stages in Tokyo’s Akihabara electronics district, and today their ubiquity is unrivaled. The current flavors of the month pepper the TV schedules and covers of weekly magazines all year round. In Tokyo, you can’t swing a carrot without hitting a giant poster of one or a bunch of … Read more

Labor law protects expectant and new mothers — to a point

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20121016lp.html   Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012 By HIFUMI OKUNUKI I had a labor consultation with a woman who said: “The other day I told my company I was pregnant. My boss asked me to quit because the firm can’t afford to give me time off. One of my coworkers once resigned before giving birth but … Read more

In ‘right-to-work’ Japan, employees should also have the right to rest

By HIFUMI OKUNUKI

According to the tagline for the 1991 film “City Slickers,” “All you need in life is love, courage and paid holidays.” Indeed, some of us may find meaning to our lives through single-minded devotion to our jobs, but without leisure time our bodies and minds would inevitably putter out. Taken to extremes, we may even start to wonder what we are living for.

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Supreme Court knocks down discipline of mentally ill employee

By HIFUMI OKUNUKI

Can a company discipline an employee for taking absence without leave if that worker could be suffering from mental illness? Just a few weeks ago, on April 27, the Supreme Court ruled against Hewlett-Packard Japan Ltd. in a case that posed precisely this question. The verdict illustrates the courts’ thinking on a very modern ill of Japanese labor.

Let’s take a look at the facts of the case.

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