• Kyodo

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A case was filed against a consumer finance company Tuesday over allegations it forced employees to work overtime without pay.

The Osaka labor bureau sent to public prosecutors a case on Takefuji Corp. and two of its officials on suspicion they violated the Labor Standard Law.

Sources familiar with the case said Monday the Tokyo-based company has paid 3.5 billion yen to around 5,200 current and former employees for unpaid overtime they worked in the past two years.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which oversees the labor bureau, said Monday that figure would be the largest amount ever paid by a company for unpaid overtime.

The bureau believes Takefuji has not fully compensated employees for overtime worked since the establishment of the company 35 years ago, the sources said earlier.

They said Takefuji’s headquarters instructed branches across Japan to forbid male employees to report more than 25 hours of overtime a month and female employees six hours a month, in line with the company’s internal rules limiting overtime.

Takefuji has paid 2.7 billion yen to about 3,000 current employees and nearly 770 million yen to about 2,200 former workers since February, when a settlement was reached at the Osaka District Court in a lawsuit against the company by two former employees.

In settling that suit, the company agreed to pay 5.9 million yen to the two for unpaid overtime work, the sources said.