TOYOTA PREXY APOLOGIZES TO KIN OF WORKER WHO KILLED SELF
The president of auto giant Toyota Motor Corp. apologized in person to the family of an employee who took his own life in 2017, after recognizing his suicide had been caused by an adjustment disorder due to harassment by his superior.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda pledged to adopt thorough measures to prevent a recurrence and agreed to pay compensation to the bereaved family in a reconciliation reached by the two parties on April 7, Fumie Togami and Shiho Matsumoto reported for Mainichi Shimbun.
The move was revealed by the family's attorney and Toyota, though the settlement amount has not been made public. Toyota had earlier denied a causal relationship between power harassment and the then 28-year-old man's suicide, based on an in-house investigation launched after his death.
The Aichi Labor Bureau's Toyota Labor Standards Inspection Office, however, ruled in favor of the family in September 2019, recognizing that the case was eligible for workers' compensation.
Shortly after the labor office's decision, Toyoda visited the employee's family, and acknowledged the causal relationship between harassment and suicide.
When the settlement was subsequently reached, Toyoda once again apologized to the family in person, and told them "we will continue to improve recurrence prevention measures while keeping your son in our memory, and transform Toyota."
The worker was assigned to the vehicle design department at the automaker's headquarters in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, in March 2016 after earning a graduate degree from the University of Tokyo and company training. He was scolded by his immediate boss, with rebukes such as "You're stupid," "You're an idiot," and "You'd better die."
From July that year, the employee took a three-month leave of absence, and was diagnosed with adjustment disorder. When he returned to his job, he was even made to sit near the very manager who had harassed him. He gradually began to confide to those around him that he wanted to die. In October 2017, he took his own life in his room at a company dormitory. After his death, his family complained to the firm that he had persistent symptoms of trauma due to his adjustment disorder.