As has been well documented, NOVA has a fraudulent policy that seeks to prohibit teachers from having any social interaction with students – but this policy does not extend to relationships between teachers and staff members.
Even if such a relationship had existed, Article 21 of the Constitution of Japan states that “freedom of assembly and association” are “guaranteed” by law, and no company has the right to say otherwise.
The involvement of a low-level manager – most likely with little or no training in how to resolve conflict – was the catalyst which turned this drama from an embarrassing situation into one that required the General Union to intervene. The manager began to interrogate the accused teacher about details of his private life, asking questions about the nature of his relationship with the other member of staff, and specifically asking if they were dating.
Inappropriate questions that go hand-in-hand with inappropriate behavior, all of which violated the teacher’s right to personal privacy.
After hearing about this incident, the union decided that an official apology was in order. We are pleased to report that NOVA agreed with our assessment of the situation and promptly ordered the manager to formally apologise for his improper behavior.
In addition, the General Union is also satisfied that NOVA took the necessary steps to resolve the issue between the accused teacher and the student that initially made the accusations against him.
The student had made some outlandish statements against the teacher – statements that were obviously fictitious in nature. The teacher was understandably concerned for his safety, and officially advised NOVA’s management that he would notify the police if he saw the student at the school again. Understanding the potential for even more trouble in the future, NOVA quickly cancelled the student’s contract.
If you have experienced a similar situation at your place of work, or if you feel that your personal privacy is being infringed upon by corporate policy or a manager that doesn’t know their boundaries, contact GENERAL UNION privately at union(@)generalunion.org, or on our official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/GeneralUnionJapan