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NEWS: Anime Subcontractor Studio Easter Sued for Unpaid Overtime


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Spotlesseden



Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 3514
Location: earth
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:39 pm Reply with quote
depends on the law in Japan. Some jobs have no such a thing as overtime pay in US. I'm in one of those.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2174
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:49 pm Reply with quote
I've got no clue how the JP hr/payroll laws are setup, but even on salary these guys would be owed overtime in the US. Very few positions qualify as ineligible, despite what a shady boss or manager would try to tell you.


Quote:
Additionally, the employees claim that when they approached the company about the unpaid overtime, the company told them that "in the anime industry we do not pay overtime" and the company cut their salaries.


Geez Louise.
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taco123



Joined: 06 Jun 2009
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 10:14 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
taco123 wrote:
Well, while I'm sure the employees produced high quality work, they didn't need to work overtime. They were only told to meet the deadline and it was their choice to go at a pace at which they wouldn't meet it in time. And so, they worked overtime and expect compensation for being slow.

In business, you have to meet strict deadlines or you're fired. If those deadlines aren't humanly possible for you, then quit. If you can meet those deadlines but your quality of work would be significantly lower, then turn in your work and talk to your manager about having extended deadlines. Just don't be slow and burden yourself with working extra hours and expect the company to pay you on terms they never agreed to.


The article was quite specific. They were made to work 7 hours of overtime a day, for multiple days. There was no choice, unless you want to be fired for not being a team player.

Normally, salaried workers have to suck it up on overtime. If they were working an 8 hour day, then with overtime you are working a 15 hour day several times a week. But if they are working 12 hour days normally, well you do the math.

They may have a case, 7 hours of daily overtime, is almost like a second shift of work. That is beyond even normal overtime, going into slave labor.

It is so funny to see people bandying about claims, that they can just quit. ANN cast was just talking about how bad the anime industry is over in Japan, so it is quite obvious to see that quitting your job would be the kiss of death to working in the industry ever again. Though this law suit is probably a kiss of death too.

Not to mention how bad the job market is over here to.
When I made that post, the article said 7 hours overtime a week, and it got changed drastically afterwards. If the employees actually worked 7 hours overtime a day, then I agree it is quite insane, almost unrealistic that they expect them to do the work in that allotted time before the deadline. The fact that they were also made to work is pretty crazy.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 4462
Location: New York
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 10:16 pm Reply with quote
Good.

I hardly see the problem with suing for better working conditions. I mean, people rag on unions (I have HUGE problems with the Culinary Union for example) but it's to prevent these sort of practices.
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shawnji_us



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:19 pm Reply with quote
This isn't just a problem within the Anime industry; this problem has been going on in every sector of business in Japan for years. I've lived and worked here for several years myself, and from what I've seen the problem stems from a combination of misplaced cultural values and people in positions of power taking advantage of good-natured people.

Do a Google search on "karoshi" and you'll find everything you need to know about one of Japan's biggest social problems.

The worst thing about it is that everyone is always too tired to be productive in any meaningful way, and that's why despite working such long hours Japan's productivity level is often below that of other nations.

These guys are absolutely in their right to sue. It takes a lot of guts to stand up to authority in a society that shuns you for doing so. For anyone who claims that they're suing for too much money, remember that legal costs have to be factored in as well; and those are always exorbitant.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14813
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:28 am Reply with quote
shawnji_us wrote:
This isn't just a problem within the Anime industry; this problem has been going on in every sector of business in Japan for years. I've lived and worked here for several years myself, and from what I've seen the problem stems from a combination of misplaced cultural values and people in positions of power taking advantage of good-natured people.

Do a Google search on "karoshi" and you'll find everything you need to know about one of Japan's biggest social problems.


Yeah, Japan is notorious for unpaid overtime, even McD's there:

"Unpaid overtime is killing McDonald's managers"

Workers would sometimes punch-out off the clock when they're supposed to, but then continue on working, so as to be viewed as a loyal worker.


shawnji_us wrote:

The worst thing about it is that everyone is always too tired to be productive in any meaningful way, and that's why despite working such long hours Japan's productivity level is often below that of other nations.


The common joke is that workers would "take it easy" appearing to work during the day, then near the end of their business day just when the boss is getting ready to walk out of the office (the workers won't dare leave before the boss leaves, even if it's past their scheduled leave time), do the real work feverishly --often times leading to working past the scheduled leave time because they started so late-- so as to appear they're working real hard when the boss passes by.

So it's a balance, between J-companies expecting workers to work unpaid overtime for the good of the company, and workers who end up working beyond the scheduled time because they didn't do real work hours earlier.

"What is the best solution for reducing unpaid overtime work?"
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Ryker61



Joined: 10 Apr 2005
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 4:00 am Reply with quote
"In the anime industry we do not pay overtime", It doesn't matter what industry you work in, you work overtime, you get paid overtime. :x
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reanimator





PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:22 am Reply with quote
shawnji_us wrote:
This isn't just a problem within the Anime industry; this problem has been going on in every sector of business in Japan for years. I've lived and worked here for several years myself, and from what I've seen the problem stems from a combination of misplaced cultural values and people in positions of power taking advantage of good-natured people.

Do a Google search on "karoshi" and you'll find everything you need to know about one of Japan's biggest social problems.

The worst thing about it is that everyone is always too tired to be productive in any meaningful way, and that's why despite working such long hours Japan's productivity level is often below that of other nations.

These guys are absolutely in their right to sue. It takes a lot of guts to stand up to authority in a society that shuns you for doing so. For anyone who claims that they're suing for too much money, remember that legal costs have to be factored in as well; and those are always exorbitant.


Thanks for clarifying things up. We need perspective from someone like you who works in Japan.

I have a question though. Are young Japanese workers voice their labor condition in openly? I wonder if their misplaced cultural value is one of the causes of Japan's socioeconomic stagnation.

Speaking of Karoshi, how is it written in Kanji? I want to do some research on my own.
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shawnji_us



Joined: 11 Oct 2009
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 10:44 pm Reply with quote
reanimator wrote:
Thanks for clarifying things up. We need perspective from someone like you who works in Japan.

I have a question though. Are young Japanese workers voice their labor condition in openly? I wonder if their misplaced cultural value is one of the causes of Japan's socioeconomic stagnation.

Speaking of Karoshi, how is it written in Kanji? I want to do some research on my own.


No problem. This is a subject I'm pretty passionate about.

I don't think that most workers feel like they can be open about their situation. A lot of people even feel like it's only natural that things are this way. Since Japan operates on a hierarchy system, generally speaking, any change that happens tends to come from the top. The little guy on the bottom is usually too afraid of losing his job to make any kind of a fuss. I should mention that finding and maintaining a job over here is a difficult proposition; especially if you're over 30.

These problems are being addressed recently, however; albeit slowly. There are groups within Japan that are trying to help other companies develop a stronger work / life balance for their employees. So there are steps being taken, but most businesses are very slow to adapt to this. The prevailing idea for the last 50 years or so has often been that work is more important than your family life (for men at least), and that mentality is hard to break from.

The Kanji for karoushi reads like this: 過労死

Here's a thread you may find interesting as well: http://okwave.jp/qa/q2086210.html

In that thread you'll find that a lot of 20-somethings respond that they come home relatively early (a lot are working part-time jobs), while a couple older respondents still seem to be working well into the night; often only getting an hour or two of sleep. It's a really sad state of affairs. Some people might blame the employee for putting up with that regiment, but that really downplays the cultural stigmas and societal pressure these people face everyday. It's not like in the U.S. where it's relatively easy to re-invent yourself at 40, start up a whole new career or go back to college.

Anyway, excuse me if I'm rambling on. I just get pretty worked up about this whole issue.
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