One out of four Japanese workers are experiencing “power harassment” for the past three years, especially in workplaces where employees have unequal status or there is a lack of communication between management and labor. This was the conclusion revealed by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare based on a survey it conducted between July and September this year.
Power harassment is a behavior that takes advantage of superiority in the workplace in order to inflict physical pain or emotional distress on fellow workers, according to the definition used by the ministry. The survey, conducted on 9,000 workers and 4,580 companies with 30 or more employees, reveals that 25.3 percent have experienced power harassment. These workers have reported varying sources of psychological distress. 55.6 percent are caused by insults and offensive remarks, 28.7 percent are from excessive demands, and 24.7 percent are due to isolation from fellow workers.
Unfortunately, the figures pointing to how these cases are handled aren’t so encouraging. Only 45.4 percent of the companies surveyed had measures in place to prevent or resolve cases of power harassment, which is even lower, reaching 18.2 percent, in companies with less than 100 employees. 45.2 percent of the companies reported that power harassment issues have been brought up by employees for the past three years, but only 32 percent have recognized these cases. The ministry said that many workers are afraid to take action to resolve their harassment problems, fearing that it will adversely affect their job performance evaluations.
[via Jiji Press]