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My daughter’s working environment is awful

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a part-time female worker in my 50s. I think my daughter’s working environment is really terrible.

She started working at a private hospital last year, and was happy to become a regular employee for the first time.

However, she says the hospital’s director calls her to a separate room during her lunch break every day and rebukes her for more than 30 minutes for not only her current performance but also her work at her previous job.

A doctor who is the director’s younger brother also told her, “I’m disgusted with you.” My daughter recently called me and cried over the phone, saying they had criticized her by saying things like: “You’re worthless. Apologize.”

That’s not the end of the story. My daughter told me she sometimes has to work through her lunch break. She also doesn’t receive bonuses or paid holidays.

I’ve just monitored her situation for nearly a year because I thought parents shouldn’t interfere in their adult children’s lives. But I’m wondering if it’s OK to tacitly approve her working there.

Do these things commonly occur at companies under individual management?

T

Dear Ms. T:

I don’t know the details of the situation because your daughter hasn’t asked me for advice directly, but I think her work environment is extremely bad.

I can well understand your concern as a parent. The hospital director and his younger brother rebuke her during her lunch break almost every day. That can be considered bullying, and it’s power harassment.

On a professional level, of course, employers have to caution and scold their employees when they make mistakes. However, the manner and degree to which your daughter is scolded are clearly unreasonable. Verbal abuse such as “I’m disgusted with you” in particular is an illegal act that infringes on her human rights. She can seek damages over such power harassment.

Your daughter can’t eat during her lunch break and can’t take paid holidays, so it’s doubtful this hospital is complying with the Labor Standards Law regarding working conditions such as wages, working hours and vacation.

It’s not good for your daughter’s mental health to keep working in this workplace. Why don’t you advise her to talk with local labor advisers and consult with them on how to cope with the current situation?

Sachiyo Dohi, lawyer

(from Sept. 20, 2015, issue)Speech

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