Japanese Chain Ordered to Pay Damages after Employee Suicide

A judge has ordered the owner of a Japanese chain restaurant to pay more than half a million in damages

(Photo: flickr/Myoan brenn/CC4.0)

Tokyo is the capital city of Japan

A Tokyo district court has ordered Sun Challenge, a steakhouse chain restaurant, to pay damages totaling more than half a million dollars to the family of an employee who committed suicide, reports Yahoo News.

The employee killed himself after being forced to work nearly 200 hours overtime a month.

The presiding judge, Akira Yamada, reportedly said of the death, "With only one holiday given to him every several months, the psychological load of prolonged work and power harassment caused his mental disorder."

The young man, 24, had worked an average of 190 hours overtime each month, and had also been "subjected to physical violence and verbal attacks by his supervisor," according to Yahoo News. 

In Japan, where long working hours are the norm and a term exists for “death by overwork” exists (karoshi), the case is rather significant for its ruling against the company in charge.


"This is a ruling that encourages workers suffering from prolonged work and power harassment," the lawyer was quoted as saying.

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.