Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave Discrimination

December 28, 2011 -

The Tokyo High Court has ruled in favor of an ex-Konami Digital Entertainment employee who sued the company for discriminating against her. Yoko Sekiguchi alleged that Konami demoted her because she took six months of maternity leave in 2009 and slashed her salary by ¥200,000. The demotion and pay cut happened when she returned from her maternity leave, she claimed.

According to the plaintiff Konami blamed Sekiguchi's "childrearing burden" for its actions. Japanese law allows mothers to take up to 14 weeks of paid maternity leave (at a 60 percent salary) and up to one year of unpaid maternity leave.

"This is discrimination aimed at female employees who chose to take maternity leave," said Sekiguchi two years ago. "I decided to take legal action because fellow female employees are experiencing the same type of treatment."

While Sekiguchi won the court battle, the company was ordered to pay ¥950,000 ($12,000) in damages - Sekiguchi was seeking ¥33 million yen ($422,000) in her lawsuit.

"I want the company to be a place where people don't have to choose between two alternatives: career or kids," said Sekiguchi, according to a report from Japanese daily newspaper Asahi - as translated by Kotaku.

While at the company, Sekiguchi negotiated various licensing deals for the Pro Evolution Soccer/Winning Eleven franchise.

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave ...

Here's how you fix it.

Hey Konami. I refuse to buy any more of your products until you start treating your female employees fairly regarding their maternity leave. It's your move.

Re: Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave ...

Well, while I'm glad she won the suit, I'm also glad to see that Japanese courts aren't nearly so free to give away the losing party's money compared to American courts.

Re: Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave ...

Except that if you don't the companies have no incentive to change their behavior. $12,000 is not much weighed against the savings of doing this to every woman who takes maternity leave AND the women who avoid getting pregnant to avoid similar discrimination. Most people won't go through the hassle of a lawsuit against their own employer over these things. So if they do this to enough women while also being able to discourage legally allowed maternity leave, they still save more money over all. I would not be surprised if they continue this behavior. If the Japanese court had awarded a larger amount Konami would have a real incentive not to do this again.

Re: Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave ...

Bad press and incrementing penalties for repeated offenses aren't incentives?

And it's absurdly inflated multimillion dollar awards for imagined damages that lead to the culture of lawsuit worship all too common in America.  Was this woman wronged?  Yes.  Did she deserve monetary compensation?  Yes.  Did she deserve millions of dollars?  Hell no.

Re: Tokyo High Court Punishes Konami for Maternity Leave ...

The company has to pay enough that they actually notice it, though. If the penalty amount could be dismissed as a rounding error, they're not going to miss the money and not likely to give a damn.

 
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Wonderkarpthe people who caused those events were sick mentally disturbed individuals, Not people with Political Differences or Gamers. and in comparison, a Bomb Threat is NOTHING compared to Real Child Murder. I hope you choke on your own Bile05/28/2015 - 5:40am
WonderkarpI'm calling you out in public, MechaRash. What you said in the Gaming for Everyone News Post was DISGUSTING. In No way has Gamergate, OR Gamers in General ever been involved in a School Shooting Nor will they ever05/28/2015 - 5:38am
Mattsworknamemeet ips. stupid phone.05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MattsworknameI feel ups should have a hard line expiration date. if a company doesn't use them for ten years they have to put it on the market or make it open source05/27/2015 - 11:34pm
MechaCrashPride does play a factor. If you sell an IP to someone, and they make a ton of money off it, it makes you look like a tool: why didn't YOU make that money? Better to sit on it than be embarassed that way.05/27/2015 - 10:58pm
ZippyDSMleeAS far as I understand it the suits think sitting on a an IP till the time is right is more profitable than tradeing it around.....hevean forbit soemone use soemthing to make money with....05/27/2015 - 9:58pm
Andrew EisenOh, there's also the Facebook page.05/27/2015 - 4:29pm
hidannikOkay :( Guess I'll just have to YouTube it when I've caught up on all the other podcasts.05/27/2015 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenI honestly don't know. The show is on my YouTube channel and we promote it here on the site every week.05/27/2015 - 4:11pm
hidannikIs there nothing a podcast app can key on?\05/27/2015 - 4:09pm
Andrew EisenYeah, we lost Libsyn quite some time ago. As such, no RSS or iTunes. We're working on finding a new (and cost effective) home but it's been really slow going.05/27/2015 - 4:07pm
hidannikThe last one on that feed was Feb 905/27/2015 - 4:05pm
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hidannikI ask because it hasn't shown up in my PocketCasts feed in a while. (I'm currently a month behind)05/27/2015 - 4:02pm
E. Zachary KnightAE, Loved your mom as the guest on your 30 Days of Netflix series. She is one interesting lady.05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
E. Zachary Knighthidannik, If you mean on iTunes, we are working to get it back up there soon. Otherwise, the show must go on. We record live every Saturday at 8pm Central05/27/2015 - 3:47pm
Andrew Eisenhidannik - The podcast will continue this weekend and every weekend after for the foreseeable future. What makes you ask?05/27/2015 - 3:29pm
Matthew WilsonI say no it isnt, but it depends on the reason for not selling it. were the pressured to not sell it. aka target au, or did they chose not to on their own aka gog with hatred.05/27/2015 - 3:28pm
hidannikIs there no more podcast?05/27/2015 - 3:26pm
E. Zachary KnightHere is another thought exercise. How would you feel if game developers traded in IP? http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JorgeMunoz/20150520/243471/Why_dont_developers_buysell_intellectual_property_much_like_other_assets.php05/27/2015 - 3:24pm
 

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