Employee's suicide recognized as work-related

The Osaka Labor Bureau on March 3 recognized the suicide of a sub-manager of the Osaka Office of Staff Service Co., Ltd., a major staffing agency, as a work-related death caused by an excessive workload and long working hours.

The bureau will send the report on the case involving Staff Service Co., Ltd. as well as its executives to the public prosecutor's office on suspicion of violating the Labor Standards Law.

Staff Service's regular working hours are supposed to be between 9:00a.m. and 5:30 p.m. under its office regulations, but the sub-manager was forced to work from 8:30a.m. to about 11:00p.m. He also had to work frequently on Saturdays and Sundays.

The sub-manager killed himself in December 2003 at the age of 32. He had consulted a psychiatrist and said, "I can't fulfill my sales quotas. My hours in the workplace are so long that I'm depressed everyday." He also said to his family that he had headaches and had trouble sleeping.

The bereaved family filed a complaint with the Labor Standards Inspection Office in April last year, arguing that his suicide was work-related and claiming compensation from the Workers' Accident Compensation Insurance.

Just recently, the Osaka Office of Staff Service Co., Ltd. had paid about 380 retired workers 280 million yen in total in back pay, following the revelation that Staff Service had systematically failed to pay overtime. (end)

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