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Protection Against Black Companies in Japan


The issue of "black companies" in Japan has garnered significant attention for a while, raising concerns about the well-being of workers, especially foreigners, and the overall work culture within the country. These black companies are often characterized by exploitative practices, excessive working hours, and disregard for labor rights.


To protect yourself from these bad employers, you need to know your rights and Japanese labor law. However, if you happen to work under a black company, you need to take some protection measures. In this article, we'll go through these steps to help you stay safe and secure in your career.


Keep records and document any harassment

First and foremost, you need to maintain detailed records of your work hours, salary agreements, and any communication related to any working issues. In case of unpaid wages, carefully review your employment contract to understand the terms and conditions. If you face employee rights violations, such as harassment or unfair workplace injury compensation, make sure to record any incidents, including dates, times, locations, people involved, and what was said or done. This documentation can be valuable evidence if you decide to take legal action.


Seek support from a trusted colleague

Talk to a trusted colleague or mentor about your experiences. They may offer guidance or support and could be potential witnesses if the situation escalates. You can also talk with your friends or seniors from other companies in case they have similar experiences. Unfortunately, a lot of foreigners have worked in black companies due to a lack of awareness and fear of unemployment and losing their visas. Joining a forum and community is also a good way to find support.


Mediation

If you feel safe and comfortable doing so, you can report the harassment to your immediate supervisor, your company's Human Resources (HR) department, or your employer. Mediation will help you to resolve the issues without going to court, so it’s less time and energy-consuming. Share your documentation and be clear about your concerns.


Consult and report to authority

If communication with your employer doesn't resolve the issue, you can seek help from the Japanese government or related organizations. You can consult these organizations or file reports with their help.


  • Consultation Line for Foreign Employees (外国人労働者向け相談ダイヤル)

This service is provided by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. You can ask questions related to labor law and regulations or ask for referrals to relevant agencies. As this line is specialized for foreigners, they offer the services in 13 languages. Note that this hotline is not free. You can call this line on weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm (lunch break from 12 am to 1 pm).

Language

Working day

Number

English

Monday to Friday

0570-001-701

Chinese

Monday to Friday

0570-001-702

Portuguese

Monday to Friday

0570-001-703

Spanish

Monday to Friday

0570-001-704

Tagalog

Monday to Friday

0570-001-705

Vietnamese

Monday to Friday

0570-001-706

Nepali

Monday to Thursday

0570-001-708

Korean

Thursday and Friday

0570-001-709

Burmese

Wednesday

0570-001-707

Thai

Wednesday

0570-001-712

Indonesian

Wednesday

0570-001-715

Cambodian (Khmer)

Wednesday

0570-001-716

Mongolian

Friday

0570-001-718


  • Working Conditions Hotline/Labour Standards Advice Hotline (労働条件相談ほっとライン)

This hotline is also provided by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare for similar purposes. The difference is this is a free line and available on weekends too. You can contact this number for advice, explanation, and referrals on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and weekends or public holidays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Language

Working day

Phone number

Japanese

Monday to Sunday

0120-811-610

English

Monday to Sunday

0120-531-401

Chinese

Monday to Sunday

0120-531-402

Portuguese

Monday to Saturday

0120-531-403

Spanish

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

0120-531-404

Tagalog

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday

0120-531-405

Vietnamese

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday

0120-531-406

Burmese

​Wednesday and Sunday

0120-531-407

Nepali

Wednesday and Sunday

0120-531-408

Korean

Thursday and Sunday

0120-613-801

Thai

Thursday and Sunday

0120-613-802

Indonesian

Thursday and Sunday

0120-613-803

Cambodian (Khmer)

Monday and Saturday

0120-613-804

Mongolian

Monday and Saturday

0120-613-805


  • Consultation Corner for Foreign Workers

If you want to do a direct consultation, you can visit the Consultation Corner for Foreign Workers in your local Labor Standards Inspection Office or Prefectural Bureau. Some offices offer consultation in foreign languages. The Tokyo office, for example, supports multiple languages. Other offices may only support one language and it may not be English. To check the nearest Consultation Corner for Foreign Workers, the supported language, and the location, click here.


  • 登録支援機関 (Toroku Shien Kikan/TSK) or Registered Support Organization (RSO)

Many companies who employ a Specified Skilled Worker (SSW) contract a TSK as a third party to provide support for them. They will help foreign employees find accommodation, open bank accounts, and assist them with paperwork. However, SSW can also consult them regarding work issues. If you have a problem in the workplace and the company can't help you, you should report it to your TSK.


  • Organization for Technical Intern Training (OTIT)

If you work in Japan as a technical intern and experience a violation from your workplace, you can contact the Organization for Technical Intern Training directly. OTIT offers Native Language Consultation that is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They accept consultation regarding work and daily life in Japan, violation reports, and SOS. You can use this service by phone at 0120-250-147, online form, and by letter.


Here’s the address for sending a letter:

Assistance Division, Guidance and Assistance Department

Organization for Technical Intern Training

3F LOOP-X Building

3-9-15, Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo

108-0022

 

Every worker in Japan deserves respect, fair treatment, and protection from exploitative employment practices. Remember that you have the power to demand fair treatment and ensure our rights are upheld. By taking proper action, you can protect yourself and prevent others from experiencing similar mistreatment.





 

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