The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has released its first ever definition of the term "power harassment."
The number of people seeking counseling or advice, claiming to be victims of power harassment ("pawahara" in Japanese) has been on the increase, says the ministry. In 2010, the ministry said that consultation centers at labor departments throughout Japan received nearly 40,000 calls, TV Asahi reported Tuesday.
A labor ministry official said that defining "pawahara" represents the first step toward dealing with the issue, TV Asahi reported.
In the report, the panel defines power harassment as any kind of behavior in which a senior person takes advantage of his or her position in the workplace to cause coworkers physical or psychological pain.
The report outlines six different acts that would constitute power harassment. These are asking junior employees to perform impossible tasks, committing acts of violence and other physical offenses, causing emotional stress, isolating or ignoring individuals, asking personal questions, and giving an employee nothing or very little to do.
The ministry added that it believes many bosses are not trained to deal with power harassment and it plans to carry out workplace investigations to root out the problem, TV Asahi reported.© Japan Today