Disability Discrimination Employment Japan

After out-of-court settlement, an intellectually disabled man describes ‘Power Harassment’ at Tokyo company

""It is my wish to have an environment that allows people with disabilities like me to work"

Written with extracts from TBS

November 7th 2018

TOKYO – A settlement was reached on the 6th at a trial where a man with intellectual disabilities who had been subjected to verbal abuse such as being called phrases like “kindergarten child or less” from the boss of his office.

Mr.  Suzuki who has an intellectual impairment, spoke about what happened. In 2008, a major supermarket “Inageya” hired him in accordance with the framework of The Act promoting the employment of persons with disabilities, but he said that he experienced power harassment such as verbal abuse from women of the company.

“He is the same as” kindergarten child or less “, and it was said that he was” stupid. or  “Can also be foolish”.

Suzuki filed a lawsuit against a woman from the company, and the company’s management. Suzuki said, “They have neglected to improve the environment considering disabled people”. At the first trial a Tokyo district court on the basis of the woman utterances such as “kindergarten child or less”, ordered compensation of 220,000 yen, but Mr. Suzuki appealed because he did not accept the company had taken responsibility.

And on 6th, a settlement was reached at the Tokyo High Court of the second instance. “Inageya” confirmed the responsibility of the company, promised “to understand the characteristics of mentally handicapped persons in the future and to prepare a work environment based on this understanding”.

“It is my wish to have an environment that allows people with disabilities like me to work.”

In response to the settlement, “Inageya” commented that they “will make further efforts to improve the workplace environment for people with disabilities in the future”.

Suzuki ‘s “life wishes” is swimming so that has the ability to acquire medals in the national body of intellectually disabled people. Meanwhile his current workplace respects Suzuki who devotes himself to swimming.

“It was nice to have the thought that it would be a workable environment by properly looking at the personality of people with disabilities like me, maybe I was saved a little by going to trial.”

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