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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 March 30 - April 5  > Bereaved family of worker who committed suicide from overwork sues box lunch franchise
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2016 March 30 - April 5 [LABOR]

Bereaved family of worker who committed suicide from overwork sues box lunch franchise

March 30, 2016
The bereaved family of a box lunch shop manager who killed himself due to excessive overwork filed a lawsuit on March 29 with the Nagano District Court seeking compensation.

The plaintiffs are the man’s parents, wife, and children. They are demanding that the company pay them about 94 million yen in damages.

In April 2010, the man was hired at Plenus, a franchise company with box lunch shops called “Hotto Motto” around the country, as a regular employee. He was assigned to work at a shop in Nagano City as a “manager” and then transferred to a newly-opened store in Mie Prefecture in December of that year. At both shops, there were no other regular workers.

He began to have mental health problems due to overwork around March 2011. The following month, however, the firm appointed him as a “senior manager” and put him in charge of two stores concurrently. Three months later, he committed suicide by hanging himself in the shop before it opened. He was only 30 years old. The maximum number of overtime hours he had worked during the six months before he died reached 274 hours a month.

In January 2015, the Yokkaichi Labor Standards Inspection Office in Mie approved his wife’s application for workers’ compensation. However, the franchise has refused to admit to any relation between his work and death.

At a news conference after the filing, the worker’s 70-year-old father said, “My son lived only for his work. The reason we have brought the case to court is to prevent other workers from being discarded and being worked to death. The company should fulfill its social responsibility.”
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