A Japanese court has ordered a restaurant chain and two of its officials to pay more than $580,000 damages to the family of a man who killed himself after working excessive hours.
The unidentified 24-year-old employee took his own life in November 2010.
(Japanese restaurant to pay $580,000 damages to family of man who killed himself after excessive work. Radio Australia. November 5, 2014.)
Japan's culture of long working hours and unpaid overtime is regularly criticised as a leading cause of mental and physical illness among employees.
The term karoshi, which means 'death by overwork', entered the lexicon a few years ago amid a surge in the number of people dying because of stress-related problems or taking their own lives.
Karoshi is a Japanese word meaning death from overwork. This term has been used since the 1970s. In 1978 there was a report on 17 karoshi cases at the 51st annual meeting of the Japan Association of Industrial Health. Karoshi is not a pure medical term but a sociomedical term that refers to fatalities or associated work disability due to cardiovascular attacks (such as brain strokes, myocardial infarction or acute cardiac failure) aggravated by a heavy workload and long working hours. The phenomenon was first identified in Japan, and the word is now adopted internationally.
(International Labor Organizationのサイトから引用)