Unpaid Overtime

Sample Cases


Businessman working 80 hours of overtime a month claims overtime and is awarded 3 million yen

Case of Client X 

Client X is a male in his 40s who lives with his mother.
He started working as a sales representative for Company Y, which has several hundred employees and multiple offices.
After Client X entered Company Y, the company started experiencing hardship and the head office put strong pressure on all their sales representatives to raise their sales figures.
Other employees could not handle the pressure and started to leave the company, and as a result of this, Client X became a manager.
After this, he worked 80 to 100 hours of overtime a month to improve sales performance, but he was not paid any overtime because he was now a manager.
Unable to bear the long hours of overtime and a company policy that heavily emphasizes sales numbers, Client X decided to leave the company.

Claims of Company Y rejected and 3 million yen in overtime received

After leaving the company, Client X requested for us to claim overtime, and we sent certified mail to Company Y requesting that the company pay overtime.
However, they refused to pay Client X, stating that they do not need to pay overtime to a manager.
Our attorney determined that no progress was to be made, and filed for a labor tribunal.
In the labor tribunal, the claims of Company Y were not recognized and the company was ordered to pay 3 million yen.
Company Y objected to this, but the judge's decision was unchanged after litigation, and the company ended up immediately paying the 3 million yen in settlement.

Key Points

(1) Proof of overtime
In order to claim overtime, it is necessary to prove that you worked overtime.
A time card is important evidence for proving overtime, but many companies do not use them, including Company Y.
If work hours are not managed with time cards, overtime must be proved another way.
In the case of Client X, e-mail sent from the company was valuable evidence.
E-mails proved what time he was at the office, suggesting that he was working at the time the emails were sent.
In the case of Client X, he printed out from when he was still working at the company, and calculated overtime based on those times.
The calculated overtime was recognized as basically correct.

(2) Objection of Company Y
In this case, Company Y attempted to claim that Client X was a manager.
The company claimed that when Client X was working at the company, he was a manager as stated in Article 41 (2) of the Labor Standards Act.
If this were true, the company would not be required to pay him any overtime, except for the premium for working late at night.
However, the standard for determining whether someone is a manager or not is not simply their title, but whether they are "as one with management," which is difficult to prove. This concept differs from the general public's concept of a manager.
Therefore, the Company Y was unable to prove that Client X was a manager, and its claim was rejected.

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