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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 8 - 14  > AGC subsidiary ordered to pay compensation for its discrimination against women
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2024 May 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

AGC subsidiary ordered to pay compensation for its discrimination against women

May 14, 2024

The Tokyo District Court on May 13 issued a ruling in favor of a plaintiff claiming that a subsidiary of Japan’s major glass manufacturer, AGC Inc. (formerly called Asahi Glass Co.), excludes women workers from its rent subsidy system, which constitutes discrimination against women.

The lawsuit was filed by a woman worker at the AGC subsidiary, AGC Green-Tech Co., Ltd. In her court battle, she claimed that non-career female workers like her are not eligible for the company’s housing system which pays for 80% of the rent, while male workers on the main career track are covered by the system. She criticized the company for indirectly discriminating against women.

The court ruling pointed out that there is no rational reason for maintaining the housing system which is effectively applied only to male employees and causing serious disadvantages to women employees. It recognized the company’s labor practices as indirect gender discrimination prohibited under the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and ordered the company to pay about 3.8 million yen in compensation to the plaintiff.

At a press conference held in the Labor Ministry office building after the court ruling, the plaintiff’s legal team said that it was the first time for a court to acknowledge indirect gender discrimination as illegal. Welcoming the district court decision, they said that it will open the door to eliminating discrimination against women.

The lawyers’ group issued a statement demanding that the company take the ruling seriously and revise its discriminatory practices.
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