Japanese train driver sues employer over 49 cents docked from his wages for 2-minute delay


A Japanese train driver took his employer, West Japan Railway Company (JR West), to court after it docked 56 yen (49 cents) from his July paycheck because of a two-minute delay that occurred during his shift the month before.

What happened: The driver, whose name was not revealed by Japanese media, was waiting for the empty train that he was supposed to drive to Okayama Station depot on the morning of June 18, according to Yomiuri Shimbun via SoraNews24.

  • The driver discerned that he was standing on the wrong platform when he saw the wrong train arrive. He went to the correct platform, but by the time he had swapped with his colleague, the mishap had already caused a total of a two-minute delay: a “one-minute delay in departure and a one-minute delay in warehousing the train at the depot.”
  • His company reportedly deducted 85 yen (75 cents) from his July paycheck for the two-minute delay, but the driver took the dispute to the Okayama Labor Standards Inspection Office. His employer eventually agreed to decrease the delay time from two minutes to one, which resulted in a salary deduction of 56 yen (49 cents).
  • The dispute allegedly began when they disagreed on “how to interpret the cause of the delay,” a spokesperson from the company told Agence France-Presse, The Guardian reported. JR West also followed its strict “no work, no pay” rule when it docked the employee’s wages, the report noted.

Taking it to court: Still believing that what happened was not right, the driver took his case to the Okayama District Court in March and filed a lawsuit against his employer.

  • He reportedly noted that the delay did not disrupt the railway company’s timetables and that the train was empty when the incident occurred.
  • In addition to the 56 yen he is seeking, the driver is seeking 13 yen (11 cents) in “overtime created by the delay.” He also sued JR West for 2.2 million yen (approximately $19,000) in damages for mental anguish.

Featured Image via Akijirailway (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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