Labor / Employment issues ~ Sexual harassment, Power abuse
(2) Sexual harassment & laws
① Civil liability
Sexual harassment may cause
Tort liability and employer’s liability.
Non-performance of obligation (Employer shall ensure good workplace environment)
② Criminal responsibility
Sexual harassment may fall under
③ The Equal Employment Opportunity Law
The law requires employers to establish necessary measures.
④ Act on Promotion of Women's Participation and Advancement in the Workplace
The Act doesn’t stipulate sexual harassment itself, but requires employers to establish necessary measures and it also contribute to good environment at workplace.
(3) In case you are damaged
Consult with your manager
The manager shall be responsible for division management and maintaining workplace is also considered as his/her responsibility.
Report via whistle-blowing system
Usually, you can directly report without manager, HR etc.
Consult with Equal Employment Offices of Prefectural Labor Bureaus
See website link below.
Consult with external lawyer
Matters of course, lawyers is legal professional, therefore, you can get appropriate advice and you can request relevant actions on behalf of you.
If you have financial problem you may be eligible to use civil legal aid system
② Your actions
If you can, collecting and keeping following evidences are recommended.
-Voice recording (If inevitable, basically not allowed)
Testimonial evidence such as eyewitness.
Making written note.
(4) In case you are accused
Please also refer leaflet issued by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
2. Power abuse
(1) Types of power abuse
(2) Power abuse & Law
(3) In case you are damaged.
(4) In case you are accused.
* Similar things with sexual harassment apply.
1. Sexual harassment
(1) 2 types of harassment
According to the Handbook, generally there are 2 type of harassment.
When an employee is inflicted disadvantageously in his/her working condition with response to sexual language and behavior of others in the workplace (e.g.: Firing employee because s/he refused sexual relationship request.)
When that sexual language and behavior disturbs the environment( e.g.: Senior person frequently touches his/her junior person’s body and it brings distress.).
① If you accept as fact
You can show your deep & sincere apologies and seek an accommodation.
However, direct contact shall be avoided and using company HR, external lawyer etc. is recommended.
② If you are unjustly accused
Comparing with (3), your choice seems limited.
You will be requested to have interview from company. Basically, you cannot reject because this is one of personnel rights of the company. However, you don’t need admit if you really think accusation is unjust.
You can hire lawyer to protect your right and Lawyer will work for you. You can also ask lawyer’s attendance to company (But company may reject.).
If company brings severe punishment such as dismissal, filing labor tribunal and lawsuit. Lawyer helps for your right as well.
The handbook defines power abuse as “any kind of behavior in which a person abuses his or her position in the workplace, such as his or her job position or personal relationship, to inflict emotional distress or physical pain to a co-worker (or co-workers) or cause the deterioration of the workplace environment beyond the appropriate scope of business.”
Actually, types of power abuse vary by case-by-case and difficult to cover all types by writing. However, the handbook also explains as following.
①Physical abuse (assault, inflicting bodily injury)
②Mental abuse (intimidation, defamation, insult, abusive language)
③Segregation from personal relationships (isolation, ostracization, neglect)
④Imposition (imposing tasks that are obviously unnecessary or impossible assignment)
⑤Too little demand (not giving any work)
⑥Invasions of privacy (intrusion into private affairs)
Recently, General Labor Policy Promotion Law was revised and power abuse was defined.