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30 Mar 2021


Japan: Sony says it will strengthen efforts to address workplace safety after employee's death by overwork

"ソニーの40代ドバイ駐在員、過労死認定 タイムカードなく、PC記録やLINEが手がかり", 15 Mar 2021

[Japanese-to-English translation: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

On 26 Feb, the Mita Labour Standards Inspection Office ruled a 40-year-old Sony employee’s death a workplace injury due to overwork. The worker, who was working in Dubai, had died from heart disease, and his death was attributed to overwork…


The employee died from cardiac arrest in the parking lot of his Dubai office on 15 January 2018, ten days after returning from a business trip to Japan.

Because he did not have a timesheet, his family calculated his working hours using itineraries and LINE records They also looked at the dates and times for when he logged on to his laptop, sent his emails, and created and updated files. With this information and testimony from his former colleagues, the family claimed that the employee had worked roughly 136 to 265 hours outside of his regular working hours in the three months prior to his death.


The Mita Labour Standards Inspection Office determined that the deceased had worked an average of approximately 80 hours outside of his regular working hours during the three months prior to his death. As such, authorities recognized a causal relationship between his death and overtime work, determining it a workplace injury.

…A public relations representative at Sony gave the following response:

“We offer heartfelt condolences to the deceased employee. We seriously accept the Labour Standards Inspection Office’s ruling and will strengthen our efforts to prevent workplace injury and to manage our workers’ health. Furthermore, we will sincerely address any guidance from the Labour Standards Inspection Office arising from this ruling.”