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Court upholds wrongful termination claim by ex-Asahi Shimbun workers

Court ruled two former employees of Asahi Shimbun Company were wrongfully terminated
Court ruled two former employees of Asahi Shimbun Company, which publishes the Asahi Shimbun, were wrongfully terminated

TOKYO (TR) – A judge upheld a wrongful termination claim by two former workers of a firm tied to the Asahi Shimbun Company who were terminated over an alcohol-fueled incident last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 31).

On Friday, judge Akihiko Ishida of the Tokyo District Court ordered the firm, which publishes the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, to compensate the workers for unpaid wages in the trial in which the workers had sought to invalidate their dismissals, saying the “punishment is too heavy.”

On February 1, 2016, the pair consumed alcohol at their workplace after a welcoming party for new employees, according to the ruling. One drop-kicked their superior’s computer two or three times and destroyed the screen.

In March 2016, the company decided the one who destroyed the screen would be ordered to resign. The same decision was made for the other worker after they initially lied by claiming they “weren’t there.”

In the ruling, the court said that “data on the computer wasn’t destroyed, and it can’t be said that the economic damage suffered by the business is significant.”

“The influence wrought by the staff member’s lie on the investigation is also not significant,” the court added.

The judge concluded that the dismissals were an abuse of rights since there was no reasonable support for the action.