Illness Caused by Outing Ruled Work-Related

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The labor authorities have ruled that a man developed mental illness because his sexual orientation was revealed by his boss without consent, recognizing it as a work-related condition eligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits.

The man in his 20s won the judgment from the labor standards inspection office in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district March 18, he told a press conference Monday.

His case is the first in Japan in which a disease caused by outing, or revealing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity without the person’s consent, was recognized as work-related, according to a group of his supporters.

The man started working at an insurance agency in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward in May 2019.

About a month later, his boss revealed his sexual orientation to a part-time worker, allegedly saying that “it won’t hurt to tell it to just one person.”

The man developed mental illness due to the outing and left the company in October 2021.

The labor inspection office judged that the outing by the boss amounts to power harassment, a form of abuse of authority.

The company has already apologized to the man and paid settlement money.

“We believe we can create a momentum toward the elimination of discrimination and outing” as the ruling recognizes social responsibility for such practices, a member of the supporter group said.