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Contract workers face punishment for sexual harassment at Gifu city gov't

Gifu Municipal Government officials apologize for a sexual harassment incident involving three contract-based employees at the city hall on June 14, 2019. (Mainichi/Ryusuke Takahashi)

GIFU -- Three contracted workers at the city government here in central Japan face punitive measures for sexually harassing a female co-worker, city officials said.

Gifu Mayor Masanao Shibahashi expressed regret over the incident. "I apologize to the victim from the bottom of my heart. We'll take measures to prevent a recurrence," the mayor said in a statement.

According to the Gifu Municipal Government, two of the contracted workers, both in their 60s, sexually harassed a non-regular female employee on multiple occasions from June 2018, sending her sexually suggestive emails and fondling her.

The harassment came to light in November 2018 when the woman reported the harassment to the municipal government via the employment agency that dispatched her to work at the city hall. The municipal government apologized to the woman over the incidents.

Separately, a male contract-based worker in his 60s who was assigned to the division where the victim works on June 1 also sexually harassed the woman by fondling her. The woman again reported the harassment to the city office via the agency, and the city once again apologized to her.

The woman intends to quit the municipal government in late June due to mental anguish over the harassment. One of the three male employees had previously worked as a full-time city official until the mandatory retirement age.

(Japanese original by Ryusuke Takahashi, Gifu Bureau)

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