Toyota Motor Corp has settled a lawsuit that blamed harassment and overwork on the death of one employee.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda has offered his condolences to the family members, the Japanese automaker announced Tuesday. The settlement’s financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Japanese media reports said that the lawsuit brought by the worker’s family demanded 123 million yen as a settlement. The wife said to reporters that she believed her husband, who was then 40, could understand, and she also believes Toyota could be a catalyst to make a change that will benefit the institution.
Toyota promised to investigate the incident to avoid repetition and apologize to the family for their suffering.
“We are currently working to establish a more transparent workplace that lets employees express their opinions and for an environment that is free of power-based intimidation so that each employee can perform their work without fear,” it said in the statement.
Deaths due to overwork and job stress, including deaths from suicide, are frequent issues in Japan’s working-life balance. The problems with abusive bosses are attracting attention.
The Nagoya High Court ruled in September that the death of an employee as a result of work. The court noted the stress he experienced at work before committing suicide in 2010. Toyota, located in Toyota city, close to Nagoya, initially denied the claims.
In the year 2019, Toyota acknowledged the suicide of a 28-year old engineer who resulted from continuous ridicule from his boss.
Japanese people are known as being exceptionally loyal to their businesses which is why they often compromise their personal health and wellness, putting into a lot of overtime and taking pride in belonging to a team.
The government received 2,835 claims about deaths caused by overwork or karoshi in 2020. Compensation was offered in over 800 cases, which included suicides.