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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 June 4 - 10  > Court recognizes NHK independent contractor as a worker under the Labor Contract Act
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2014 June 4 - 10 [LABOR]

Court recognizes NHK independent contractor as a worker under the Labor Contract Act

June 6, 2014
The Kobe District Court on June 5 acknowledged that an NHK independent contractor for collecting television reception fees, called “area staff”, is regarded as a worker in the Labor Contract Act.

The plaintiff was a male area staff who filed a suit against Japan’s public broadcaster over the termination of his contract before its expiration. The 47-year-old plaintiff is the head of a Kobe local of a union for NHK area staff, which is affiliated with the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren).

In the lawsuit, he claimed that NHK’s independent contractors are obviously hired by the broadcaster as they have no right to select work areas, manage working hours, or set a target for fee collections.

The court ruling in favor of his claim acknowledged him as a worker specified by the Labor Standards and the Labor Contract acts. The ruling invalidated NHK’s termination of his contract and ordered the company to provide back pay to him.

Applauding the court decision, his lawyer Hashiba Osamu said that the court recognized that he has labor-management relations with NHK judging from his way of working.

Past related articles:
> Individual contractors can exercise labor rights: court [January 24, 2013]
> Top court recognizes Victor Co. independent contractors as workers under the Labor Union Law [February 22, 2012]
> INAX ‘contract workers’ win court determination recognizing them as ‘workers’ specified by the Labor Union Law [April 13&14, 2011]
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