Reference example for determining what corresponds to power harassment **

The revised law requires business owners to take necessary measures for employment management, such as establishing a consultation system, in order to prevent power harassment. It came into effect on June 1, 2020 (for small and medium-sized business owners, on April 1st, 2022).



In some cases, it may be difficult to determine what constitutes power harassment.

The following are typical types of words and actions, and examples that typically correspond to or do not correspond to power harassment in the workplace for each type.

Appropriate measures such as responding to a wide range of consultations, including those that fall under power harassment in the workplace or are subtle, paying sufficient attention to the fact that judgments may differ depending on the situation of individual cases, and the examples are not limited listings.


There are six types of typical words and actions, and this blog will cover three of them. * It is assumed that these examples were made against the background of superior relationships.


Power harassment in the workplace (*1) is stipulated by the revised Labor Policy Comprehensive Promotion Law (promulgated on June 5, 1st year of Reiwa) to satisfy all of the following three elements.

1) Words and deeds against the background of superior relationships

2) Depending on what is necessary for business and exceeds a considerable range

3) The working environment of workers is harmed


Please refer the examples below, considering whether all of the following requirements that apply to harassment are met:



Type 1 Physical attack (assault / injury)

Examples that may be applicable include (1) beating, kicking, and (2) throwing an object at the opponent.

On the other hand, if you accidentally hit it, it is probably not applicable.



Type 2 Mental Attack (Intimidation, Defamation, Insult, Terrible Abuse)

As examples that can be considered to be applicable

① Do something that denies your personality. Includes insulting behavior regarding the other party’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

(2) Repeatedly harsh reprimands for longer than necessary regarding the performance of business

③ Repeat loud and intimidating rebuke in front of other workers

④ Send e-mails, etc. with content that denies the other party’s ability and abuses it to multiple workers including the other party


On the other hand, it is not considered to be applicable in the following cases.

(1) Guidance is given to workers who lack social rules, such as being late, and whose behavior does not improve even if they are repeatedly careful.

(2) Give some strong guidance to workers who have taken serious problematic behavior in light of the content and nature of the company’s business.


Type 3 Separation from human relationships (isolation / exclusion / disregard)

An example that seems to be applicable is

(1) For workers who do not agree with supervisor’s intentions, let the worker remove work, isolate worker in a separate room for a long period of time, or have worker train at home.

② Colleagues ignore one worker as a group and isolate it in the workplace


On the other hand, the following cases are not considered to be applicable.

(1) Intensive training and other education in a separate room for a short period of time to train newly hired workers

(2) Have workers who have been punished based on disciplinary action temporarily receive necessary training in a separate room before returning to normal work.


In the next blog, I will cover the 4th, 5th, and 6th types.

 Type 4 excessive demand (forced or obstruction of work that is clearly unnecessary or unfulfillable in business)

 Type 5: Under-requirement (ordering or not giving a job that is far from the ability and experience without rationality in business)

 Type 6 infringement (excessive entry into private matters)


Yumiko Kamioka

Labor and Social Security Attorney, USCPA



Published by

Yumiko Kamioka

Certified Social Security and Labor consultant, USCPA ||(Website) MASHR Consulting (TEL) 045-594-7315 (FAX) 045-594-7316 (EMAIL)