Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 March 25 - 31  > Court rules Hitachi's policy of holding individual interviews to press for early retirement to be illegal
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 March 25 - 31 [LABOR]

Court rules Hitachi's policy of holding individual interviews to press for early retirement to be illegal

March 25, 2020

The Yokohama District Court on March 24 recognized the holding of individual interviews to push for early retirement to be illegal and ordered Hitachi, Ltd. to pay 200,000 yen in compensation to a male worker.

The worker in his 50s, the plaintiff, is in a managerial position dealing with software projects at Hitachi's Yokohama office. The man claimed that Hitachi, despite having an internal capital surplus, conducted individual interviews as part of its streamlining scheme and forced him to accept early retirement, condoned acts of workplace power harassment, and cut his bonuses based on discriminatory evaluations of his job performance.

According to the plaintiff, he was told by his superior in seven separate interviews that the interviews would continue unless he accepts early retirement. After he joined the Denki-Joho Union which organizes individual workers in the electronics and information industries, the interviews stopped. However, he received verbal abuse via emails which many Hitachi workers were able to see.

The court ruled, "The individual interviews were held to illegally coerce the plaintiff into retirement, which undermined the plaintiff's self-esteem, inflicted emotional distress by unfairly stifling his will, and deviated from socially-acceptable degrees." However, regarding the job performance evaluation causing the bonus cuts, the court ruled that that was not for the purpose of encouraging early retirement.

After the court decision, the plaintiff's lawyers appraised the judgement as meaningful in regard to the interviews, but the plaintiff said, "I wanted the court to recognize that the job performance evaluation only based on the superior's opinion was also illegal."

Past related articles:
> Hitachi subsidiary forces workers with work-related injuries to accept distant transfers [January 9, 2020]
> JCP-union collaboration stops Hitachi’s forcible retirement practice [March 3, 2017]
> Union efforts push Hitachi to retract its ‘banishment room’ dismissal tactic [December 12, 2015]
> Hitachi workers form union to resist company’s downsizing measures [January 12, 2015]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved