What you should do first when receiving a wrongful dismissal letter.

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Q. I'm American. I've been working in an IT company in Japan for 3 years. Yesterday, I received the termination letter from my immediate supervisor. According to him, the reasons for the termination are my poor performance and poor communication skill. I cannot accept such an unreasonable and one-sided decision without any proof. What should I do? He said the company's decision is final and not negotiable.

A. Article 16th, Labor Contract Law in Japan stipulates that If a dismissal lacks objectively reasonable grounds and is not considered to be appropriate in general societal terms, it is treated as an abuse of rights and is invalid. Namely, if a company fails to prove reasonable reasons or/and dismissal process is considered to be socially inappropriate, such one-sided termination is null and void so that a company has still a legal obligation to pay salary based on the labor contract even after it's one-sided termination.

Therefore, first of all, you should ask your company to issue the letter explaining the reasons for termination

in accordance with Labor Standards Law, Article 22(1) stating when a worker on the occasion of retirement requests a certificate stating the period of employment, the kind of occupation, the position in the enterprise, the wages or the cause for retirement (if the cause for retirement is dismissal, including its reason), the employer shall deliver one without delay and Article 22(2) The employer shall, where a worker has, in the period between being given the advance notice in Article 20, paragraph (1) and the day of retirement, requested a certificate in relation to the reason for the said dismissal, issue the certificate without delay; provided, however, that where the worker retires after the day of the advance notice on reasons other than those for the said dismissal, it is not necessary, after the said day of retirement, for the employer to issue the certificate.

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