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Deceased train driver in Japan awarded 45 cents after his pay was deducted for 1-minute delay in 2020

  • A court in Japan ordered the West Japan Railway Co. on Tuesday to pay 45 cents to a train driver who died earlier this year.

  • The company deducted the money from the driver’s pay in 2020 after he caused a one-minute delay while waiting for an empty train at the wrong platform.

  • In his ruling, judge Hisanori Okuno stated that if an employee spends their work time correcting a mistake related to a task, the company must still pay them for services rendered.

  • The train driver, who was in his 50s, died from an illness earlier this year.

A court in Japan posthumously returned 45 cents to a train driver after deducting the money from his payroll because he caused a one-minute delay in 2020.

The Okayama District Court ordered the West Japan Railway Co. on Tuesday to pay the train driver, who demanded 2.2 million yen (approximately $17,065) compensation for emotional distress in March 2021.

The train driver, who was in his 50s, died from an illness earlier this year.

In June 2020, the train driver reportedly waited for an empty train at the wrong platform, causing a two-minute delay. West Japan Railway Co. then deducted 85 yen (approximately 66 cents) from the driver’s payroll. However, the company reduced it to a one-minute delay after the Okayama labor standards inspection office became involved and deducted 45 cents instead.

The train driver then attempted to sue West Japan Railway Co. in March 2021, but was unsuccessful.

Judge Hisanori Okuno ruled on Tuesday that the train driver would be posthumously compensated after concluding that the man immediately recognized and corrected his mistake. Okuno stated if an employee spends their work hours correcting a mistake related to a task, they must still be paid for services rendered.

In March, West Japan Railway Co. revised their policy in which any mistakes caused by a train delay would constitute a pay deduction and count as time not worked. The company added that they were planning the revision before the lawsuit occurred and “sincerely accepts the ruling.”

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