It is generally difficult to settle a labor dispute by direct negotiations between the parties, considering the relationship between the employer and employee. There are wrongful termination, arrears of pay, and sexual harassment as common issues.
In Japan, when you face such problems, there are the following 5 options to take.
1, Mutual agreement (Negotiation)
2, Civil conciliation at the court (Minji-Choutei)
3, Mediation service offered by a dispute coordinating committee of labor department
4, Labor tribunal proceedings at the court (Roudou-Shinpan)
5, Civil lawsuit
The above #2, 3 and 4 are the procedures to be gone through with a third party in order to reach an agreement.
#3 provides services offered by Labor Department under the law. There are consultation desks at each Labor Standards Inspection Office across the country, and they provide free consultation services designed to support the labor dispute settlement.
#4 Labor tribunal proceedings (Roudou-Shinpan) is designed to settle labor dispute cases with a court action as follows.
(1) Distinctive features of the labor tribunal proceedings
The decision will be made within 3 sessions (Usually, within 4 months after filing the petition)
The labor tribunal committee is consisted of 1 judge and 2 labor relations referees. (Usually, 1 labor relation referee from each side of the employee and employer)
Labor tribunal proceedings are designed to act as an intermediate procedure between the mediation and civil lawsuit. An agreement will be sought through the mediation first, and then the tribunal committee will make a decision with judgment if an agreement cannot be reached.
(2) If you have objections to the judgment
The statement of disagreement can be filed within 2 weeks in order to take a judicial action. Then the procedure will proceed to the civil lawsuit.
There are some possible ways to settle labor problems as listed above.
When labor issues arise in your workplace and yet you don’t know how you can approach them, please contact us for consultation.