Man reaches settlement with Tokyo company after boss outed him as gay

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11/29/2020

A gay man in his 20s has reached a rare out-of-court settlement with the company he used to work for after a superior revealed his sexual orientation without his consent, people involved in the case said Saturday. The firm in Tokyo’s Toshima Ward apologized and has promised to pay damages for causing mental distress, they said, in a development that many hope will help eliminate discrimination of LGBT people. Experts on issues related to sexual minorities have pointed out that an out-of-court settlement over damage caused by outing someone is extremely unusual as legal disputes on the matter are uncommon in Japan, where misunderstandings and misconceptions about LGBT people persist. The central government has designated outing and insults against LGBT people as abuses of power in its guidelines of a law enacted in June that requires firms to take measures against such abuse. But experts argue the efforts are limited in scope and are calling for the state to take more explicit actions. The man recalls the “long and painful days” he spent until the out-of-court settlement. “I’m happy if (this case) could provide an opportunity to eliminate outing from society and the workplace,” he said.

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