OSAKA BAR ASSOCIATION RULING (Drug testing)

"We ask you to give consideration to human rights even more from now on in your company's operations and in the management of your schools to and to cooperate in raising consciousness of human rights in Japan."

25 July 1995 K.K. NOVA Mr. Nozomu Saruhashi President

Letter of Recommendation

Thank you for your understanding of the activities of this committee. Regarding the human rights question lodged by Mr John McNeill and ten others and as a result of our investigation with your company’s cooperation, we give our judgement as follows: From the material we have been given by your company, and from other material, we recognize that a foreign teacher of your company was arrested on the charge of illegal possession of marijuana, and that this was reported in a newspaper on August 19th, 1994. The fact that your company, as a foreign language school, employs many foreign, especia1ly western, teachers, and that there is a gap between Japanese and westerners in the perception of marijuana as illegal meant that this report had a big influence on your business. It is understandable that in order to defend your business, you sought to have your employees in all schools undergo a medical examination. When you tried to enforce this examination, we note that you took human rights into account to some degree, namely by having the teachers sign consent forms. However, the examination you intended was a urine test to determine the subjects' use of drugs. Employees have a right to privacy, and must not be force to reveal personal information. Though we concede that employees should submit to reasonable stipulated regulations, the examination was tantamount to a criminal investigation and the way the examination was executed was a violation of the teachers’ right to privacy. Of course, had the examination been based on the free consent of your employees, there would be no problem with human rights, but the way in which employees were asked to give their consent implied possible dismissal and cooperation with the police. Moreover, the discontent expressed by many of your employees and their protest to this association indicates that they did not sign the forms of their own free will. Therefore, we judge that your request for the submission of the consent forms was a violation of the teachers' right to privacy, because of the aforementioned psychological pressure. We ask that the consent forms be immediately returned to those who request them and that no employee be harassed or have his contract renewal placed in jeopardy for their refusal to sign the form. We ask you to give consideration to human rights even more from now on in your company's operations and in the management of your schools to and to cooperate in raising consciousness of human rights in Japan. Osaka Lawyer Bar Association Uehara Yosuke Chairman

Additional information