“I’m working myself to death.” Officials in Japan take that notion seriously and are holding companies accountable. The latest case involves a restaurant manager.
A government labor official says a McDonald’s store manager who died of a brain hemorrhage was a victim of “karoshi” — death by overwork.
The 41-year-old woman had worked more than 80 hours of overtime per month on average for the six months before her death. She suffered from headaches for three weeks before the brain hemorrhage.
She collapsed during a training program and died in the hospital three days later.
The determination that work caused her death makes her dependent family members eligible to receive a public pension.
Japan’s welfare and labor ministry investigates whether deaths are caused by overwork if the employee worked 80 or more hours of overtime for the preceding six months or 100 hours for the previous one month.
The ministry attributes about 150 deaths each year to karoshi, usually through strokes or heart attacks.
Earlier this year, a judge ruled a man’s suicide was due to his working conditions and ordered his employer to pay 100 million yen ($1.2 million) to his surviving relatives.
A judge ruled the company, an agricultural co-operative, failed to fulfill its duty to ensure workplace safety and prevent his death.
Do you think it’s possible to determine if an employee’s stroke or heart attack was caused by working too many hours? Let us know in the Comments Box below.