HR Strange But True!
July 27, 2006

A judge with the Tokyo District Court in Japan has ordered a civil servant and the agency for which he worked to pay slightly less than $5,000 to a temporary worker who accused the man of forcing her to pluck his beard, the Japan Times reports.

In a lawsuit, the woman accused the man of harassing her at the Tokyo branch office of the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry's Employment Security Bureau. He repeatedly asked her to pluck his beard and refused to take no for an answer, the woman said.

"The request itself notably lacked appropriateness, and continuing to make the request even though the plaintiff had clearly refused is an illegal act that goes beyond moral criticism," Judge Masaki Katano said in ruling in favor of the woman.

A spokesperson for the Employment Security Bureau disagreed with the judge's decision to hold the agency liable as well, calling the ruling "harsh," the newspaper reports.

In the lawsuit, the woman had sought 5,000,000 yen (less than $50,000).

The woman also accused the civil servant of making other inappropriate requests, including asking her to bring her "best bathing suit" on a company trip, Reuters reports.

Sources: Reuters and Japan Times

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