原告である小林さんについた弁護士事務所は、ニューヨーク・マンハッタンにオフィスを構える「Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates LLP」。
Severe degree of disgusting North American Toyota "sexual harassment lawsuit"
The former president's secretary claims damages of up to 21.2 billion yen in history. Behind the scenes of Manhattan 's lair attorney' s office.
July 2006 issue BUSINESS
Heike who is arrogant has not seen for a long time ─ ─. It is a Toyota car that has continued a pleasant advancement that is driving such an ominous premonition.
The highest profit is renewed for 4 consecutive years, and the final profit for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2006 is 1,037.2 billion yen. The production volume of automobiles for the entire group will be the world's best by surpassing General Motors Corp. (GM) even within the year. However, the sexual harassment problem discovered in North America showed the danger that Toyota had a blind spot.
Early May when we were about to announce our earnings report that was supposed to be the "best victory declaration" by Toyota. Shocking news came in from the United States.
Mr. Sayaka Kobayashi (42), a former president's secretary, took sexual harassment from Toyota Motor Corp. president Hideaki Otaka (65), suing Otaka and Toyota Motor. The damages claim amount was unprecedented amount of 190 million dollars (about 21.2 billion yen).
Western media such as the New York Times, NBC, Forbes etc all made extensive coverage at once. In contrast to the Japanese media that kept it at a relatively modest report, some rice papers reported in a sensational headline "a car that is fueled by sex, not a hybrid".
Mr. Otaka denied suspicion that "I believe that innocence will be proved," but was forced to resign in a week after the lawsuit was filed.
The biggest pillar that supports Toyota's profitable performance is the North American market where sales of fuel-efficient cars and hybrid vehicles are in excellent shape.
A big scandal over Toyota President North America occurred during the time when GM and Ford fell into management uneasiness and the recurrence of Japanese-American car friction is concerned. It is not only a problem of Toyota, but it can also affect the industry of Japan and the United States, or Japan-US relations. It was true that Toyota who was concerned about the seriousness of Koto was trying to rush up the situation with the replacement of Mr. Otaka.
Mr. Otaka claims "innocence"
Watanabe Ken Akira, President of Toyota Motor Corp. said, "Compliance with action guidelines and compliance (compliance with laws) are thorough, and we strictly respond to every harassment (harassment)."
With immediate crisis response, there are voices in the industry and outside that honor the skill of the strategy to replace Toyota's criticism. However, truly Toyota is smoldering a cold view that he saw sweetly the "sexual harassment problem" in the United States.
That's because the more you know about Mr. Kobayashi's appeal and the greater the attitude of the attorney's office on Mr. Kobayashi's side, the heavier the meaning of "a woman of 21.2 billion yen" has.
It is no doubt that Toyota will be forced to deal with difficult problems in the future. In the US sexual harassment lawsuit, most companies lose cases, mostly fear of image down, and pay a large amount of settlement payment. There is not a lot of losing by such a de facto enterprise side.
Mr. Kobayashi of the focus is known for the gifts that graduated from the university in the United States. Although it is Japanese nationality, he said that he also acquired US permanent residence. In 1997 he got a job at the Toyota Technical Center (Michigan) and demonstrated his abilities. In 2002 he was appointed to the planning department of Toyota North America in North America, and in September 2005 he was appointed a secretary of Otaka president It was. Toyota enrollment will be less than 10 years.
It seems that it was not amusing to say that "Toyota's Kuroki Hitomi" was reputed with a beauty that can not be seen very much in his 40's. However, according to Mr. Kobayashi 's action, Mr. Otaka' s behavior is as shamefully straight and extremely vicious. Toyota's response was also poor.
▽ When I traveled to Washington on business trip, the president Otaka at the hotel where I am staying could press whether I could go to Mr. Kobayashi's room or Mr. Kobayashi to come to my room.
In the park in New York City, the president has asked for a kiss.
▽ When he refused to accompany the president's business trip to Detroit, the president ordered the executive employee to make a hotel reservation for Mr. Kobayashi.
▽ When Mr. Kobayashi consulted with the senior vice president, it was told only "to discuss between the parties", the company did not respond in good faith.
Mr. Otaka insists on "innocence", but as far as the content of the complaint is concerned, Mr. Otaka's behavior gives a confident criminal impression. I wonder if the devil has given it.
Mr. Otaka and Mr. Toyota are troublesome, in addition to the sexual harassment suspicion, the damages claimed will be huge.
Mr. Kobayashi's law firm office, who plays the plaintiff, "Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates LLP" has offices in New York / Manhattan.
He is good at business related to corporate legal affairs, has experience in securities law, business law, employment related litigation, especially sexual harassment, power hurdle, etc. We have been active in troubles at employment sites. Christopher Brennan (41) who is in charge of Mr. Kobayashi is said to be the young Hope of the office.
According to the office, out of $ 190 million claimed, $ 150 million will be described as "punitive compensation". Because the assets of 'perpetrators' are emphasized in the assessment of the amount, it seems that Toyota, a superb company that is sweeping the North American market, has become the highest claim ever in personal sexual harassment cases.
Japanese company afraid of target shootout
Future developments can not be read yet, but Toyota's lesson is the sexual harassment problem that occurred at the Illinois plant in Mitsubishi Motors in the 1990s. In response to a late reply, a boycott campaign occurred, a blow was given to management, and a settlement was approved at about 34 million dollars in the case of filing a lawsuit with 300 or more female employees.
For this reason, Toyota is planning to launch a special investigation team to investigate thoroughly, and at the top of the team he wants to stop the influence of the incident to a minimum by appointing Mr. Alexis Herman who was a labor minister at the Clinton administration .
The biggest focus is seen as the timing when Toyota and Kobayashi agree on settlement and the settlement amount.
To the extent that the situation gets broken, Toyota waits for the report of the investigation team only for bad scenario, Toyota apologizes to Mr. Kobayashi side as early as June and July, and aims at settlement with settlement payment It is likely to be. Even if Mr. Otaka is defending as "no facts", Toyota will stick tough mind and it will be impossible for Kobayashi to respond to zero.
However, it is unclear whether Mr. Kobayashi side who seems to be in a favorable position responds smoothly to the settlement. Of course, it is certain that the bargaining over the amount of settlement will become intense.
Observing that "Toyota has to concede considerably to concede" is persistent when attacking Mr. Kobayashi's handy lawyer. Far from hundreds of millions of yen, there are even the view that it may be necessary to prepare "two digits" of billions of yen scale. Although it is a winning group with profit of 1 trillion yen, it will be a painful expense, it should be a painful image down.
In any case, the attention Toyota market will be the "reference value" of future sexual harassment lawsuits. There are also vigilant that multiple US law firms will trigger a sexual harassment problem of Japanese companies.
Meanwhile, if Toyota's sexual harassment issue ignites Japanese car bashing, the influence may spread to other companies such as Honda and Nissan Motor. The ripple of Toyota's sexual harassment is likely to pull the tail for a while in the US "political season" ahead of the middle election in the autumn.
Resolve a quick sexual harassment lawsuit
Toyota is recognized as a serious company by the public. Also at the press conference of President Zhang and President Watanabe, carefully note and answer reporters' questions. It is clear when compared with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation with headquarters in Tokyo. Besides, I can not hear a scandal that a woman comes up with. The fact that the headquarters is in Toyota City, and the center of activities is in Nagoya, rumors will not come out against these problems. I can not hear a story like a man if anything.
It is a sexual harassment lawsuit in the United States that happened when I got down to Toyota car that passed by this seriousness. In the United States, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation got a sexual harassment lawsuit in a group and dropped the corporate image and a huge amount of compensation was taken.
This sexual harassment lawsuit was sued by Toyota Motor Corporation North America President and Hideaki Otaka President of the North American affiliated company. It appealed Mr. Aka Kobayashi (Sayaka), secretary of the president of Otaka. Mr. Kobayashi appealed on May 1st during the holidays in Japan. According to Mr. Kobayashi, I consulted with the vice president about being invited to the hotel by the president Otaka and being conspired at the park in the night, as I was told by the vice president "to solve it by themselves", in order to settle in court became.
Mr. Kobayashi asked Mr. Christopher Brennan, who has an office in Manhattan, New York, which is skilled for lawyers. Brennan announced that he got reporters who held a press conference soon and demanded damages of $ 190 million (21.5 billion yen in Japanese yen). The opponent is the top Japanese manufacturer and became big news only to the subsidiary of Toyota Motor with the momentum to withdraw GM and Ford. A newspaper kept the Toyota car cool with the heading that "Toyota is running with sexual harassment as fuel".
Toyota Motor is also "Kaneshiro Ike" which earns 6 to 70 percent of profits in North America. For that reason, taking countermeasures mainly around the overseas affairs department, we made Otaka president resign, and we succeeded in sending Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) president Yuki Futano of the United States as a successor. Otaka president was removed from all jobs.
The negotiations for damages were made by both lawyers and settled in early August. With regard to that amount, it is becoming dark without being reported by the mass communication. Asukura Hidetoshi (SSD Law Firm) who is familiar with US business relations lawsuits
"As for complaints, I write in the US newspaper in detail.The Toyota is sued by topics.But concrete settlement amount does not come out to the mass media of the United States, but 1% It is common sense to think that Brennan's lawyer will be OK if it is (215 million) that he decided on common sense and took a double digit by 1,075 million yen (5%) Is not it? "
I am talking. It is an expensive money that can not be thought of in Japan, but for Toyota, who was in a hurry to reconcile, he may have chosen a way to solve it quickly even if he pays 1 billion yen. Compared with the fact that Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a subsidiary in the United States of America in June 1998 and paid 34 million plaintiffs (current amount of 3.84 billion yen) to 300 plaintiffs for reasons of sexual harassment It may be an amount. Toyota does not talk about this settlement amount at all.
New York law firm Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates is known for its worldwide work in corporate, securities, sexual harassment, and workplace discrimination law.
Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates LLP is conveniently located in ...
Meet the Manhattan attorneys at Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates ...
Ziegler, Ziegler & Associates LLP, New York: securities law ...
The U.S. Legal Environment for Sponsored and Unsponsored ...