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Dentsu fined Y500,000 for making employees do too much overtime

50 Comments
By Taiga Uranaka and Teppei Kasai

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50 Comments
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That's it?

why Japanese Labor Laws such a joke? At this rate, Dentsu can let few hundred employees die every month.

It seems cheaper to work them to death apparently .

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Yeah this makes a mockery of the whole campaign. A few million yen wouldn't be enough.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Labor practices at Dentsu, renowned for its hard-driving work culture, came under scrutiny after employee Matsuri Takahashi committed suicide in 2015 at the age of 24. The government later ruled she died of karoshi - literally "death by overwork"..........

A Tokyo court put paltry figure of just 500,000 yen on Matsuri Takahashi short life.

Shameful and outrageous. I cannot imagine the torment and distress Matsuri Takahashi family have endured. There dignify in grief is truly remarkable

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yes, 500,000 yen is a total embarrassment. It is chump change to Dentsu. Life is getting very cheap here.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Sorry dignity.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Cool deal. Save trillions in overtime and/or additional staff and pay a fine of 500,000 yen. The CEO probably spends that much on a weekend outing. It is most definitely a sad day for the overworked, underpaid Japanese workforce. A real slap in the face.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

What a joke! Y500000 fine for slavish like overtime. No wonder things will never change here! It should have been Y500000 for each extra hour these poor people were forced to work!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

the overtime is not the problem, the problem is that it is unpaid and unrecorded. forget the fine just make them record it and pay it then nobody has a problem. I do 29 hours of overtime a month and get paid for it so there is no issue.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

lol, "fine" is just a cost of running business and as long as it's less than profit, keep doing it by ALL means

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Human life in Japan?

Still worth more than many other countries in the world...

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Ridiculous...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

the overtime is not the problem, the problem is that it is unpaid and unrecorded. forget the fine just make them record it and pay it then nobody has a problem. I do 29 hours of overtime a month and get paid for it so there is no issue.

Come back when you're doing 159 hours of overtime.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Actually the problem is the workers. If everyone would just leave no later than 7pm how can a company fire people or delay promotions? One person will not make the change. Everyone needs to team together and then and only then will change come about.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What a insult and a joke 500,000 puffff

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The CEO probably spends that much on a weekend outing.

He probably has that much in his bag and could pay on his way out of the building.

Only way to hit them is for people to stop applying to work there and people working there to hit the road. However, a lot of people here are brainwashed that work is more important than life itself.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

What a joke! That isn't a fine, complete farse!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

500,000 yen is the punishment to the company in violation of Labor Standard Law - criminal law. The family of the victim is reportedly paid about 100,000,000 yen from Dentsu as the compensation money differently - civil law.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can just see the CEO of Dentsu telling his secretary to pull the 5 grand out of the petty cash draw.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If this news gets out, Japan is going to be the laughing stock of the entire world. Work someone to death literally, and get fined around $5000. The way to get this practice to stop is to name and shame Japan. The Japanese have extremely thin skin and cannot take criticism, especially if it is about their country. This needs to get out into the international news. Talk show hosts like John OLiver can really have fun with BS like this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Impunity - twas ever the privilege of the powerful. Unless the fig leaf of democracy is cast aside and serious jail time is prescribed for executive perps, the rank and file of employees will continue to suffer death by working under the "Arbeit Macht Frei" regimen of Japanese "free enterprise".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It does seem ridiculous but it looks like the current law just says employers can be fined for allowing or making employees to do too much overtime, and no mention at all of liability if an employee dies from such overwork.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Fine and compensation is different. For example, if you are driving a car and kill a person, money you have to pay as a fine is not big but the compensation money you have to pay to the victim will be astronomical.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Actually think that a single 'symbolic' yen fine would have been much better than this ridiculous amount which makes a mockery of justice. If the Tokyo court didn't want to take this matter seriously they should at least not have added insult to injury. They're clearly taking the P.

Takahashi's mum had a classy reaction when asked about the verdict. Should have ripped into them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How many individual breaches ? Why not 500,000 yen per each and every breach ?

This is just more evidence that Japan Inc wants its drones to show up, keep up and shut up.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

News flash, J-Govt gives GREEN LIGHT to Japan Inc to continue O/T without pay or restrictions, even if it results in death, you are good to go!!

Beyond disgusting!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

yeah...that'll really teach them! #GovernmentCorruption

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maximum fine of violation of Labor Standard Law is decided at 1.2 million yen under the criminal law. Sending the offenders to a jail is their business not demanding compensation money while money matters involving compensations are handled in civil suit differently. It appears writers of the story are misleading ignorant readers By the way, money of fine does not go to the victim but to the government.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How much? An insult to the memory of Ms Takahasi.

This will in no way deter other owners from treating their staff like chattels.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why only ¥500,000 if the the maximum is ¥1.2 million and Dentsu is known for such practices?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Total crap, companies now can pay the fine and continue overtime. Its a new government tax...government does not give a rats arse about the people

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Wow, Dentsu certainly won't be doing that again.

I think 50億円 would be a more appropriate fine than 50万円: that would give them something to truly regret, but I see such fines are not allowed.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"We are hoping for legislative change so that stiffer penalties can be imposed when a worker dies," Takahashi's mother Yukimi said in a statement after the ruling.

This is the next step. There's no point whining about the small fine when the law itself doesn't exist.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

500,000 yen is one month's salary for a middle manager. That's it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

That’s pocket money for Dentsu. This is outrageous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maximum fine of violation of Labor Standard Law is decided at 1.2 million yen under the criminal law. Sending the offenders to a jail is their business not demanding compensation money while money matters involving compensations are handled in civil suit differently. It appears writers of the story are misleading ignorant readers By the way, money of fine does not go to the victim but to the government.

Schopenhauer,

I think we understand this VERY WELL, you need to remember that besides this individual extreme case there are MILLIONS of Japanese that suffer from non-enforcement of labour laws here, it is a MASSIVE problem that is slowly helping  destroy society here!

JPY500,000 is NOTHING to most any company compared to the savings they get but ABUSING their staff.

Again the Govt has GIVEN the green light to Japan Inc to carry on AS IS!!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not even a slap on the wrist. They'll make this money back on ONE person's overtime work in a week at the rate they push people, and this kind of 'punishment' will in NO way stop them. In fact, it is a clear sign that they will not see business harmed by literally killing their employees.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The government and the labor law is only but one attempt to fight against companies with such practices. I look to the corporate culture to play more of a role in doing good e.g the CSR wave back in the mid 2000’s. The government can’t solve everything It takes the companies themselves to make a real difference

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's a reward to the company. Makes them feel like they can put it behind them. Sounds like the idea is NOT to change anything. Stubborn society.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Half a million yen. That's the price for murder then. Life is so cheap in Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There is no amount of compensation  that can change the loss of a loved one, family.

This tragedy was avoidable. Justice has not been served, it is as simple as that.

Examples have to be made at the highest level (boardeoom), no one should be immune or complacent to the rule of law Heads have to be seen rolling around in the sawdust. Yes

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dentsu probably makes a ¥500,000 profit per hour or so. They should be fined hundreds of millions of yen so it really hurts. Or they should fine the people responsible as individuals, with a provision that Dentsu cannot pay the fines for them or compensate them in any other way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Dentsu said in a statement, adding that CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto will take a 20% pay cut for six months.

20% pay cut for 6 months?

Piss poor gesture by Dentsu - the CEO should voluntarily give up a year,s worth of his salary and give it to the victims family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

sometimes I wonder if all is lost in translation. I'm guessing that every single lawyer, judge and exec involved in the trial each made more than 5000 dollars during the duration of the trial. And dentsu could have paid the fine in cash relating to causing death, before even leaving the court room without having any prior knowledge of the amount of the fine...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto should resign over this. Ideally, the CEO of any future offending company should be required to serve prison time. That is the message that needs to be sent, not a $4,500 endorsement.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Put 3 naughts on it and charge that to each of the board of directors and I guarantee there will be no problems with excessive overtime in any company in Japan within one week!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

adding that CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto will take a 20% pay cut for six months.

This is just scandalous. Like someone else mentioned, give up a YEAR'S worth of salary and then we can take your words more seriously. What a bloody scoundrel he is. And he's just one of many. Here's what the government should do: when illegal acts involving overtime comes to light, shut down the company, revoke their license to do business, and don't give it back to them UNTIL they change and enforce new internal laws banning any form of unpaid overtime.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

apologies to stockholders and public.. wow.. not to employees? impressive

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lorem ipsumOct. 7 11:55 pm JST

adding that CEO Toshihiro Yamamoto will take a 20% pay cut for six months.

This is just scandalous. Like someone else mentioned, give up a YEAR'S worth of salary and then we can take your words more seriously. What a bloody scoundrel he is. And he's just one of many. Here's what the government should do: when illegal acts involving overtime comes to light, shut down the company, revoke their license to do business, and don't give it back to them UNTIL they change and enforce new internal laws banning any form of unpaid overtime.

While I understand the desire inherent in your post unfortunately you end up punishing the innocent while missing the guilty. The company is not to blame, closing the company punishes the employees and shareholders but not the executives in charge who are to blame for the culture and the failure to comply with regulations. Therefor punish the guilty, fine the directors and managers heavily (at least 200% of their gross annual income including all bonuses and any other benefits) ban the directors from holding directorships for life. and possibly some gaol time for the CEO to concentrate the mind!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

500,000 as a fine for 105 hours of unpaid overtime.

The math on this means that if her salary was over 190,000 per month then it was cheaper to pay the fine than to pay her for the hours she worked let alone the fact that it was overtime or that she died.

(500,000/105 hours = 4761 yen per hour * 40 hours in a standard week comes to 190,000 yen in a standard week. Therefore this isn't counting the original 40 hours she got paid for)

Assuming a standard 40 hour week and the fact that in Japan you're supposed to be paid 150% from 60 hours, theoretically those 85 hours of bonus overtime mean that it's cheaper at 135,000 per month to pay the fine than to pay an employee what they're legally entitled to.

(85 hours 1.5 overtime bonus = 127.5 overtime "hours". Plus 20 hours between 40 hour week and 60 hour bonus minimum = 147.5 "hours not paid. 500,000/147.5 = 3389 yen per hour 40 hour week = 135,000)

Let me know if I miscalculated :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Add at least three zeros onto the end of that figure for it to have any meaning.

Japan of course, hates the litigious nature of the West, as do those in power who have most to lose. Authority is not to be challenged, but to be submitted to.

As a result, compensation figures often appear absurdly low - see the Fukushima compensation handed out just the other day. Legal action is discouraged and the companies can get away with murder, in a sense that is only just metaphorical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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