A court ordered advertising giant Dentsu Inc. on Friday to pay ¥500,000 ($4,400) for labor practice violations, which resulted in the suicide of a new recruit due to excessive working hours.
“Illegal long working hours were becoming the norm” at Dentsu, Tokyo Summary Court Judge Tsutomu Kikuchi said.
“It cannot be overlooked” that the practice led to the death of 24-year-old Matsuri Takahashi in December 2015, the court’s ruling noted.
Takahashi’s suicide just months after she entered Dentsu sparked a national debate over the severe working conditions many Japanese workers endure, and had a major impact on the government’s initiative to improve working environments.
The ruling noted that Dentsu did not implement drastic measures, such as cutting the amount of work or increasing the number of employees, even when a Labor Standards Inspection Office issued an order to improve the situation.
“Overtime work without payment was also rampant” at Dentsu, the ruling added.
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