First official recognition of karoshi under new standard

A Labor Standards Inspection Office in Osaka has recently accepted a complaint brought by a woman worker's parents demanding that her death should be officially recognized as death from excessive overload (karoshi).

The decision is the first to be made under the revised standard of official recognition of karoshi as work-related which the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Labor set out last year.

The woman worked at an advertisement-related company as a designer, and retired at the end of March, 1998, when she was 23 years old. During the five months till March, her overtime reached 70 to 120 hours every month.

After retiring the company and taking a one-week rest, she got a new job in April. On the second day at her new workplace, she died of subarachnoid hemorrhage.

The previous ministry standard of only one week required to assess the working condition as to whether the case could be officially recognized as death from overwork or not was changed to six months.

The parents of the deceased young woman worker filed a suit with the Osaka District Court against the company in April 1999, and both sides reached an out-of-the-court settlement in February 2002, including the payment of 40 million yen (31 million dollars) from the company. (end)