A former contract employee of Kyodo News filed a suit Wednesday with the Tokyo District Court against the Japanese news agency, demanding 19 million yen ($174,000) in compensation for pay discrimination and abuse of power by his boss.
The man in his 60s, who worked for the agency for more than 30 years as a regular and non-regular employee, claims that he received less bonuses and retirement pay as a contract employee than regular employees who were doing the same work.
The man, who wishes to stay anonymous, started working at Kyodo News as a regular employee in 1984. He retired in 2000 for personal reasons and returned to work as an editor for the English-language news service at the agency under a renewable one-year contract in November 2001.
He became a senior editor in September 2008, and retired in February.
The former employee alleged that his bonuses, which were paid twice a year, were less than half the amount paid to regular employees even though they were doing the same job, and that his retirement allowance was also less.
He also claimed that his boss harassed him outside working hours in January.
"I had asked for fair treatment but it was not accepted," he said at a press conference. "I filed the suit so that younger employees will not suffer irrational treatment in the future."
Kyodo News said that it will consider how to respond to the suit once they have received the complaint.