January 2014 the Labor Standards Office in Mita, Tokyo issued a verbal directive that Berlitz Japan pay back wages to an employee. Berlitz has until March 14 to comply with the directive.
The employee submitted detailed documentation on work done between lessons, before class and after class. The amount of time spent in one month equalled about a day’s wages. While this won’t be true for every employee, it does demonstrate the company benefits from labor generated outside the lesson and that teachers should be recognized and compensated.
The employee will be entitled to 24 months of back pay according to statute of limitations.
Other employees can now use this landmark directive to apply for wage adjustments month by month. Begunto members can go through their union. Other unions and non union members can go directly to HR at Berlitz to demand payment. There is a templated form to bill for back wages you can use at the bottom of this posting. This is similar to the one submitted to the LSO.
The union and those not in the union can negotiate for back wages for up to 2 years as well.
And for those worried that this will take their breaks away from them, it won’t. If you are not scheduled for it, you do not have to do it. Breaks are not scheduled work time, so you have the right to refuse work on a break.
If you have to travel more than 40 minutes or during your lunch break, you can bill for the extra time.
If you have to prep kids classes, you can ask for the extra time needed.
If you have to discuss materials with staff on a break, it is billable.
If you are asked to fill out forms on breaks, bill them.
If you cannot fill out forms at out service (no wi-fi) and have to do it at work after, they need to pay you as it takes away from your free time.
If your boss wants to talk to you “for a minute” during your break and it’s becoming a habit, let him show you the money.
Now that we are moving into the iPad system at work, some of the entries will need to be changed on the time card, but take a look at the things teachers have to do on their unpaid time.
If you have questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org