OSAKA — All Nippon Airways was ordered Monday by the Osaka District Court to rescind its decision to dismiss a female flight attendant who had taken four years off due to work-related injuries.
According to the court, the airline tried to force 46-year-old Nobuko Ishitomi of Mino, Osaka Prefecture, to quit after she returned to work in 1995.
In handing down the ruling, Judge Tetsuou Matsumoto said the court did not “recognize that her work performance was any worse, and therefore (the company’s decision was an) abuse of employment rights.”
The court ordered ANA to compensate her for lost wages of about 475,000 yen a month and pay 500,000 yen in damages for harassment.
The court said that Ishitomi’s boss had tried to force her to quit by calling her such things as “(the company’s) parasite.”
Ishitomi joined the airline in 1973 and took leave for four years after she sustained a neck injury in an accident while riding in a cab arranged for by the company, according to the court.
She returned to ANA in July 1995, after her doctor determined that she was fit to go back to work.
However, she failed an emergency drill in her first month back and was fired in February 1996 for the deterioration in her work performance, the court said.
Meanwhile, her superior repeatedly attempted over four months to force her to resign after she applied in May 1995 to return to work.
The court ruled that Ishitomi failed the drill because she was unaware of changes in airplane design that were made while she was on leave, and “there was no deterioration in her basic performance.”
After the ruling, Ishitomi said she was glad the court recognized her claims, adding: “I want to go back to work as soon as possible.”
ANA released a statement expressing its regret over the “unfair” ruling. The company plans to appeal.
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