Toyota settles lawsuit, apologises to family of employee who died by suicide

In 2010, one of its employees in Japan, had committed suicide due to overwork and harassment

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Following an employee’s death by suicide and accusations of workplace harassment and stress, Japanese auto manufacturer, Toyota has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The said worker’s family dragged the Company to court seeking $1.1 million in damages. The court ruled that the employee was driven to suicide in 2010 due to the severe stress he experienced at work.

Now, the Company has not only settled the lawsuit but also offered an apology and promised to examine the issue of overwork and ensure that such an incident does not happen again. Akio Toyoda, president – Toyota Motor Corp., apologised to the deceased employee’s family.

This is not the only case of death by suicide due to overwork at Toyota. In 2017 too, a young engineer had taken his life when he could not stand being ridiculed by his boss any more.

In Japan, where people are known to be workaholics and deprived of a social life because of work demands, this is not a one-off incident. In fact, there is also a specific term for death due to overwork, ‘karoshi’.

Toyota, as a company, has promised to work towards increasing transparency at the workplace and create a more comfortable environment for employees to discuss their issues openly and share their problems. The Company is looking forward to ensuring that its management does not indulge in power harassment so that employees can work fearlessly.

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