A train driver filed a lawsuit against the company to compensate for mental damage, after being deducted from his salary of 0.5 USD for causing the train to arrive at the station one minute late.
A spokesman for West Japan Railway (JR West) confirmed today that an employee is suing the company for 2.2 million yen (US$19,470) in compensation for mental illness.
According to the lawsuit, in June 2020, the driver, whose identity was not disclosed, was assigned the task of directing an empty train to a station in Okayama, western Japan, but went to the wrong platform. The incident caused the train to arrive at the station one minute behind schedule.
JR West deducted 56 yen ($0.5) from the train driver’s salary because of this incident. The company argued that it was reasonable to deduct wages because train drivers were seen as not working during the time when the train schedule was mistakenly delayed.
The train driver filed a lawsuit earlier this year, arguing that the delay was a minor fault and that he should not have been considered absent from work. He also emphasized that the incident had no real impact because he was operating the empty train.
“The reason this incident became a lawsuit is the difference in the interpretation of each party,” spokesman JR West said, declining to comment further, citing the pending lawsuit.
The Japanese railway system is renowned for its efficiency and punctuality, frequently cited as an example for railway networks around the world. In 2017, a Japanese railway operator caused an international stir after apologizing for a “huge inconvenience” caused by trains leaving 20 seconds early.
Huyen Le (Follow AFP)