Gay man in Japan receives compensation after being outed by boss
A Japanese man who developed mental illness after his boss revealed his sexual orientation without his consent was considered eligible for compensation by a labour office, in what could possibly be the first such judgment in Japan.
A labour office in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district accepted in March 2022 a claim for workers’ compensation filed by the man in April the previous year, reported the Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Tuesday.
The boss’ outing of the man, who is in his 20s, was regarded by the labour office as an abuse of power that has caused significant psychological distress to the man.
This may be the first case in Japan where such compensation has been granted to a worker who is involuntarily outed at a workplace, said Posse, a non-profit organisation that deals with labour issues.
However, it is not known what amount or type of compensation the man will receive.
The unnamed man said that when he started work with an insurance company in 2019, he told his boss he was gay as he wanted to list his partner as his emergency contact person.
The man also told his boss that he would reveal his sexual orientation to his colleagues only as and when it was necessary.
However, the boss told a colleague about the man’s sexual preferences without his consent.
“I thought you would be too embarrassed to tell others yourself. It’s OK if it’s just one person, right?” the boss allegedly told the man during a drinking session.
The man said he developed mental health issues as a result. The revelation by his boss has also caused the man to develop a distrust of people, and he had even considered suicide, The Japan Times reported.
The man left his job in October 2020 after the company acknowledged the boss’ action, apologised to the man, and paid him an undisclosed amount as settlement.