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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ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
 

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