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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 22 - 28  > Top court ruling is a big step forward: ‘maternity harassment’ victims’ group
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2014 October 22 - 28 [LABOR]

Top court ruling is a big step forward: ‘maternity harassment’ victims’ group

October 24&25, 2014
Following the Supreme Court ruling that recognizes the unfair treatment of women workers due to pregnancy or childbirth as illegal, a group of women who experienced such treatment on October 24 held a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

Japan’s top court on the previous day ruled that demotion on the grounds of pregnancy violates the Equal Employment Opportunity Act for Men and Women in a lawsuit filed by a female physiotherapist at a Hiroshima hospital who was demoted due to her pregnancy.

The group welcomed the top court ruling by saying that it represents a major step toward a ban on the unfair treatment of women workers due to pregnancy or childbirth, so-called “maternity harassment in the workplace”.

Group leader Osakabe Sayaka related her experience in which she received “maternity harassment” from her boss and had to quit her job. She stressed the need to create a society without excessively long working hours and family responsibilities discrimination.

The Japanese Communist Party on October 21 published policies for a gender equal society. On the same day, JCP Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki, member of the House of Councilors, at a House Cabinet Committee meeting cited the fact that of women workers who left their jobs due to pregnancy or childbirth, 29.7% were forced to give up their careers after facing threats of dismissal or unilateral termination of contracts. He urged the government to take preventive measures.
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