Japanese companies take strict disciplinary measures against employees who leak corporate secrets or commit financial wrongdoing, but are more lenient when it comes to cases of sexual harassment or office affairs, a private research organization said Oct. 6.The Labor Administration Research Institute in Tokyo said it came to this conclusion after a poll of 137 companies, many of which are listed on stock exchanges. The institute had sent out surveys on disciplinary measures to 2,700 companies from June through August this year, but only 137 of the companies responded.Asked what disciplinary steps would be taken if an accounting department worker misappropriated 1 million yen, 88 percent of pollees said the employee would be fired. Sixty-six percent of those polled said an employee would also be dismissed for divulging company secrets to outsiders. Another 60 percent said they would take the same disciplinary steps if an employee spent company money for private purchases.But only 33 percent said an employee would be dismissed for sexually molesting a passenger on a train. About 38 percent of those polled said an employee who sent obscene electronic mail to a colleague would receive a warning. Only 11 percent said they would dismiss the employee and 18 percent they would ask the employee to resign.Thirty-three percent of those polled said that if a superior and subordinate were found to be having an affair, they would warn the two. About 26 percent said they would not take disciplinary measures in such cases. Only 13 percent said they would dismiss the employees involved in such affairs.
Firms harsh on theft, not sexual harassment