We’ve heard many horror stories of a person being overworked and there’s even cases where people have died due to crunching extra long hours in the office. In fact, it’s so prevalent that Japan has a word for it and it is called “karoshi”.
This 51-year-old man surnamed Yang from Pingtung, Taiwan was a victim of overwork but luckily, he managed to survive the ordeal. According to LTN, Yang suffered bleeding from his brain after he worked continuously for 35 days without rest at a frozen fish factory in Taiwan.
Apparently, Yang’s tasks at work involves processing the aquatic products and on December 20, 2014, he suddenly fainted at 4pm while he was working. He was sent to the hospital where the doctors diagnosed him with cerebral hemorrhage and high blood pressure.
As a result of this, he became disabled. He also could not work and had to undergo rehabilitation for a long time due to nerve damage. He could barely walk even after four years and his children had to go out and work part-time to help support the family. Yang decided to sue his company for compensation as he said that it was overwork that caused him to suffer from injuries but his company responded by saying that he already had unhealthy habits. They said that Yang liked to smoke and drink often and his work was not very strenuous so he was 70% accountable for his injuries.
The Ministry of Labour decided to investigate this case and went to the company to understand more details. They discovered that Yang had not taken an off day for the past 35 days when he was working and usually worked more than 10 hours. The day before he was hospitalised, they found that he had worked 14.5 hours. That’s almost double of what’s required!
The judge ruled that the company was at fault for making him work such long hours. Labour law in Taiwan states that a company cannot ask their employees to work for more than 12 hours a day and more than 46 hours of overtime in a month. The judge said that Yang’s illness was indeed caused by overwork and sentenced the company to pay him compensation of 5,792,571 TWD (approx. RM781,000).
What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section!
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