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Salaryman claims unfair transfer to subsidiary after taking child care leave

A male employee of Japanese sports manufacturer Asics Corp. is seen during an interview with a Mainichi Shimbun reporter in Tokyo on June 14, 2019. (Mainichi/Kayo Mukuda)

TOKYO -- A male employee of Japanese sports manufacturer Asics Corp. claims that he was unfairly transferred to a subsidiary company after taking paternity leave to care for his newborn baby.

The 38-year-old worker said that he subsequently returned to the parent company but not to carry out his previous duties and is only in charge of translating the company's working regulations from Japanese into English.

According to the man, he entered Asics, based in Kobe in western Japan, in 2011 and worked at a section to promote sports. After his first son was born, he took paternity leave for about a month and a half from February 2015. He took such leave again from May 2015 to June 2016.

Soon after returning to work, the employee was sent on loan to the subsidiary at the end of June 2016. His new tasks included carrying boxes in a warehouse and packing parts of shoes into bags. He injured his shoulder due to the work and was forced to take time off for treatment.

The man opposed his transfer and asked a lawyer to negotiate his return to the parent company. His claim was granted about three months later. He then took paternity leave once more to care for his newborn second son.

A representative of Asics told a Mainichi Shimbun reporter, "We refrain from responding because we are currently negotiating the case. We are striving to improve the workplace environment and support system so employees can play an active role during pregnancy, childbirth and child care."

(Japanese original by Kayo Mukuda, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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