Mazda Forced To Pay $770,000 In Worker Suicide
Back in 2007, a Mazda employee committee suicide, which resulted in his family suing Mazda and claiming that the Japanese automaker worked him too hard and insulted him, which they claim caused the death.
Today, a Japanese court awarded 63 million yen, which is around $777,000, in damages to the family. The family had already received $530,000, which brings the total to $1.3 million, according to the Associated Press in Tokyo, Japan.
This court ruling will go along way in Japan, as the country’s citizens are known for overworking themselves, which often times leads to death, exhaustion or suicide. The issue is made worse by the fact that the Japanese will not speak out about their poor work-environment, due to their respective culture.
In fact, this occurrence is so common in Japan that a name has been developed for it, "karoshi," meaning “exhaustion death”. This death can consist of a heart attack or a stroke. Companies can be held liable in these cases. At the end of the Japanese fiscal year, the government found about 100 deaths from exhaustion and they ruled that 63 of them were suicides.
“We feel it is extremely regrettable to have lost a precious employee. We offer our condolences from the bottom of our hearts,” Mazda stated in a press release. While the company does seem to be remorseful, they don’t seem to agree with the ruling made by the courts. Mazda stated that it would review the details further before deciding to seek an appeal on the ruling.
The worker was just 25 years old and evidence suggests that he had been openly ridiculed by his managers in front of other co-workers for being a failure and getting to much overtime. It was this that allegedly led to his suicide.
[Associated Press Japan.