Konami Forced to Pay $12k Damages in Maternity Discrimination Suit

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It’s been two and a half years, but after a lengthy legal process, Yoko Sekiguchi has won her court case demanding that Konami pay damages after demoting her and cutting her salary because she chose to go on maternity leave.

After taking the company’s regular stint of maternity leave, from October to April 2009, she returned to her job of negotiating soccer team and foreign player licensing rights for Konami’s soccer games to find herself demoted because of the “burden” her new circumstances placed upon the company and with a corresponding pay cut of close to 20%. Yup. That makes sense.

The presiding judge has deemed the demotion and pay cut an illegal abuse of human resources, which is a good decision in a country, like Japan, that is realizing that it’s birthrate has reached untenable lows specifically because of its emphasis on hard work without an emphasis on home life as well. The courts ordered Konami to pay ¥950,000, or a bit more than $12k American dollars.

“I decided to take legal action,” she  said when she began the suit, “because fellow female employees are experiencing the same type of treatment.” And, at its closure: “I want the company to be a place where people don’t have to chose between two alternatives: career or kids.”

Konami has not yet commented.

(Asahi via Kotaku.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.