A train conductor in Japan was a minute late and was fined $ 0.49 – furious, now sues the company for $ 19,300

Japan’s train company is famous for its pinpoint sense of time and for apologizing for any slightest delay. Stock Photography. EFE / Nora Olivé (EFEM0353 /)

A train conductor in Japan is suing his employer after he take 49 cents off your salary because of a one minute delay which, according to him, was not his fault.

West Japan Railway Company (JR West) said it withheld the small sum by applying its strict principle of “Do not work, do not pay” about the incident, which occurred in June of last year.

The driver, who has not been identified by Japanese media, you are suing for $ 19,300 in damages for mental anguish caused by your employer’s decision, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

The case is a reminder of the enviable punctuality record of the Japanese rail network, with delays even very brief, prompting repeated apologies to passengers.

The dispute arose after the conductor, who was scheduled to move an empty train to a depot at Okayama Station in western Japan, he realized he was waiting on the wrong platform.

His mistake delayed the transfer of the conductor on the correct platform by one minute and caused an additional one minute delay in the arrival of the train at the station, said the newspaper.

JR West said he had the right to withdraw the driver’s salary, as he had not been working during the confusion.

The plaintiff, however, told Okayama District Court that the delay was caused by “Human error” and that he should not have been considered absent from work, and added that there were no interruptions in train schedules.

The company initially withheld 75 cents for the two-minute delay, but it reduced the fine to correspond with a one-minute delay after the driver complained to the local labor standards office.

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The company described the one-minute delay caused by the operator as a “human error” and therefore deducted the amount from his salary. EFE / EPA / KIMIMASA MAYAMA (KIMIMASA MAYAMA KIMIMASA MAYAMA /)

However, the driver refused to accept the lower fine and took his claim for damages to court in March.

A JR West spokesperson told AFP that the dispute had arisen because of disagreements about how to interpret the cause of the delay, adding that the company had enforced its no work, no pay rule by reducing the driver’s salary.

The online reaction appeared to be on the driver’s side. “So you can cut someone’s salary in one minute, but can’t pay for overtime in minute increments as well?” said one commenter, according to the Sora News 24 website.

Another wrote: “I would go crazy if I were in charge of the payroll, having to deduct minutes from people’s salaries for every mistake they make.”

Japan’s vast rail network rarely experiences major delays, with the exception of disruptions caused by earthquakes and typhoons. Commuters and students using trains five or more minutes late are offered certificates to prove to bosses and teachers that they were not at fault for being late.

In 2017, the operator of a private railway company serving the Tokyo suburbs issued an apology for the “Serious drawbacks” it had caused after one of its trains left 20 seconds ahead of schedule.


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