What you should do first against ‘Wrongful dismissal’

What you should do first when receiving a termination letter.  How to protect your rights from the wrongful dismissal


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 objective proof about my poor performance and communication skill. What should I do? He said the company’s decision is final and not negotiable.


You should tell them clearly (‘by email’ is the best to record the whole process of your company’s wrongful termination) that you will not accept this one-sided termination and will continue to work in the same conditions and position, and then ask them to issue the formal letter explaining the reason for their decision of a one-sided termination.

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 your company fails to prove reasonable reasons or/and the dismissal process is considered to be socially inappropriate, such one-sided termination is null and void so that your company cannot remove you from the company and they have still a legal obligation to pay salary based on the labor contract even after their notification of one-sided termination.

Therefore, first of all, to have them clarify their termination reason, 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.

After receiving their letter, you should visit some labor lawyers and other organizations providing legal consultation and advice on how to solve the issue.

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