• Kyodo

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The Nagoya High Court has ordered Toyota Motor Corp. to pay about ¥1.2 million in damages to a former employee after he was offered undesirable terms when he sought to be rehired after retiring.

The 63-year-old former office worker claimed Toyota had proposed a one-year contract as a cleaner despite his request to continue as an office worker under the company’s rehiring system that provides for up to five years of employment. He refused the offer.

“This is a breakthrough ruling that recognized the illegality of the company,” the plaintiff told Kyodo News.

Toyota said: “It is regrettable that our claims have not been accepted. We will consider our response by examining the ruling.”

The initial ruling by the Okazaki branch of the Nagoya District Court in January ruled in favor of Toyota’s claim that the former worker did not meet the standards required to be hired as an office worker.

But presiding Judge Masayuki Fujiyama said in the high court ruling that proposing a different type of work went against a law concerning stable employment for older people so long as they were capable.

The law obliges a company to retain its employees until the age of 65 if they wish to work.

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