We originally stated that the Labor Standards Office had “ordered Rainbow International School to pay the former teacher [the unpaid overtime] what they’re owed”, that “the company now has an “official record” of labor violations”, and that “repeat offences could see them prosecuted if we were to push the Labor Standards Office for further action”.
At the time of the original ruling, the LSO had set a deadline for Rainbow to deposit the outstanding funds into the bank account of the former teacher. However, When Rainbow International School failed to meet the deadline that had been set, the LSO officer told us that while he had worked very hard on the case, he now wanted our permission to close it UNRESOLVED.
This has certainly been educational for our newest staff member who is handling the case (and for our readers, too), who is finding out how ineffective Japanese bureaucracy can be first hand.
Of course, we are not going to drop the case at all.
While it is rare, the Labor Standards Office actually has the authority to arrest company presidents over refusal to comply with their rulings.
In fact, we pushed so hard in a case against Tezukayama University that the Nara Labor Standards Office were prepared to do just that, and actually issued a warning to the president that if the case was not settled within two weeks, an arrest warrant would be issued.
Low and behold, the issue was promptly settled.
In this particular case, we aren’t sure exactly what steps we will be taking just yet, but they may involve a protest at both the LSO and the school.
One thing that we’re certain of, though, is that some of our staff are about to get some good training.
Naturally, not all Japanese bureaucrats are willing to throw in the towel if an offending party won’t immediately capitulate without having to be told twice. There are many people out there who are just as fervent about upholding labor laws as we are.
Just as in all walks of life, however, there are just as many people out there who are happy to do the minimum that’s required for them to collect their salary at the end of the month. And we can’t be sure that isn’t the unofficial policy of the LSO.
We often hear people say that they don’t need a union and they can just visit Labor Standards Office handle things themselves.
Experience has shown that this is usually not the case, and that the union often has to step in to salvage the situation.
Our advice? Let the union help you from the start, instead of having to ask the union for help later down the line.