When non-Japanese employees are involved in labor disputes such as wrongful termination of labor contract or salary cut, Japanese companies sometimes use different strategies than those used against Japanese workers.
For example, some companies try to take advantage of employee’s lack of knowledge about labor laws. In Japan, protection of employees is very strong under labor laws. In other words, it is not easy to dismiss or reduce their salary for company’s benefit. Some companies act as if their treatment is legal without informing them of the existence of such workers’ protection. Due to such unfair behavior, many workers lose their opportunities to assert their rights.
Another strategy is dismissal or demotion on the grounds of insufficient Japanese language skills. It is natural that people from outside Japan cannot speak like Japanese people. Companies usually hire non-Japanese staffs after having several job interviews. And through the interviews, companies should have known their language skill. Therefore, only the lack of Japanese language skills is not sufficient reason for dismissal or demotion.
To protect your legal rights and interest, you need to find good lawyers who has experience of handling labor disputes. Because labor disputes are complex and stressful procedures, you should choose someone with whom you can comfortably talk in your native language.
Our attorney, Atsuro Tsujino has many experiences in handling labor cases from both employee’s side and employer’s side. And as a member of Lawyers Network for Foreigner, he has many non-Japanese clients. So, he is used to communicating in English about complicated legal matters.