NHK is being sued by a French employee who claims the broadcaster unfairly dismissed her after she took a leave of absence from work following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.
Emmanuelle Bodin, 55, who worked as a translator and did radio work for NHK for 20 years, says she confirmed with her employer that returning home on the advice of the French embassy would not cause a disruption, Fuji TV reported. On March 13, the French Embassy in Tokyo advised its citizens to leave the Tokyo metropolitan area.
Speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Tuesday, Bodin said she arranged for another person to substitute for her and cleared the trip with her superiors, Fuji TV reported. She said she left Japan with her two daughters on March 15, planning to return on March 30, but on March 22, she received a letter from NHK, dismissing her for abandoning her job.
Bodin this week filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court demanding NHK invalidate the dismissal and pay unpaid wages. Her lawyers argue it was unlawful of NHK to dismiss her in light of the French government’s evacuation order issued in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
An NHK spokesperson was quoted by Fuji TV as saying the company saw no legal obstacle to terminating her contract.