The Equal Employment and Opportunity Act, which modified the Labor Standards Act, was a major step forward for women employed in Japan and the first Act to prohibit employers from discriminating against women in terms of mandatory retirement age, dismissal and access to benefits. However, the Labor Standards Act continued to be modified even after the Equal Employment and Opportunity Act, and later acts added protection for men (who were not originally protected from discrimination under the Labor Standards Act or Equal Employment Act) and banning discrimination in recruitment, assignment and promotion as well as any form of indirect discrimination.
However, even though this Act has been in effect for over a quarter-century, ingrained practices of discrimination are hard to eliminate and discrimination still persists in the workplace today. Recent strides in improving work-life balance in Japan have helped to correct some of these trends but more work still needs to be done.
If you have any questions about discrimination laws in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.