If you work in the entertainment/mass media sphere, you probably need to be prepared for a grueling work schedule, since it’s often not a 9-to-5, Monday-to-Friday kind of job. That goes double if you’re working in that industry in Japan, where in a lot of companies it’s not a question of whether you have to do overtime, but how much.
But even by those standards, the workload given to one employee at TV Tokyo Seisaku, a production company and subsidiary of broadcaster TV Tokyo, sounds wildly excessive.
The employee, a 51-year-old woman, previously worked solely as a producer for the company. Following a disagreement with her boss, though, she says that in 2017 she was transferred to the general affairs decision.
One could argue that that’s an unfair demotion, but where things get really unfair is how she claims that even after the transfer she was still required to handle many of her previous position’s assignments, usually after already putting in a full day in her new general affairs role. At one point she says she worked for 48 days in a row, and if that wasn’t unreasonable enough, she says that her supervisor imposed various conduct regulations only on her, such as limiting the amount of times she was allowed to get up and go to the bathroom.
The woman says the stress and strain eventually caused her to develop adjustment disorder, a psychological condition that can lead to more severe mental conditions. After hearing her case, the Mita Labor Standards Office, in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, certified that her condition qualified as a workplace psychological injury. Her lawyer has now announced that she is suing TV Tokyo Seisaku for unpaid overtime wages, and is also considering seeking additional damages as compensation for workplace harassment in the form of the bathroom limit and other unwarranted rules.
TV Tokyo Seisaku, meanwhile, has said that it disagrees with the woman’s claims and interpretation of the situation, but has declined to comment on specifics while the lawsuit is ongoing.
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