“I am currently working for a company in Japan, but I must leave before the contract is over. I am concerned that my company is going to attempt to fine me or not give me my final salary before I leave the country. What can I do to prevent this?”
Despite it being illegal to impose any kind of financial penalty for quitting, some companies will still seek such termination fees as a consequence of early contract termination. The best way to prevent this from happening is to give the exact amount of notice as specified in the contract (in cases in which the desired notice is reasonable), or to work with the company to try to make them understand.
Larger companies such as Aeon, Interac, and ECC will often follow the law on this matter.
It is often only small companies and rogue operators (like some mid-size ALT companies) that overtly break the law when it comes to this issue.
If it does happen, and a company illegally deducts the “fee” from your final salary, it can be difficult to pursue the matter – especially if you are leaving the country. Usually, it can take several months to get your missing salary back from the company that stole it.
In such cases, the General Union suggests that you officially appoint someone as your power of attorney so that they can pursue the matter at the Labor Standards Office on your behalf (such as a friend who is, or otherwise speaks, Japanese).
Unions will usually help members with this issue, but most unions do not have the time or the resources to take up the cases of people who are only seeking to join a union for the sole purpose of having such problems resolved.