Thursday, November 6, 2014

Remember: Toyota US CEO Hideaki Otaka sued for sexual harrassment by secretary in 2006; settled

Toyota's sex culture does not stay confined to Japan, it appears.

In this 2006 sexual harrassment complaint, executive assistant Kobayashi describes the details of her nightmare of harrassment by her boss, then-CEO of Toyota North America, Hideaki Otaka.

Key among Ms. Kobayashi's allegations in her complaint:

 - [while on a business trip] defendant Otaka suddenly approached Ms. Kobayashi, forcibly grabbing her body and attempting to engage in sexual contact with her.

- While in a secluded area of [Central] park, defendant Otaka suddenly
grabbed Plaintiff’s body and forcibly attempted to engage in sexual contact with her.

- Defendants [retaliated] against Ms. Kobayashi for having reported
defendant Otaka’s outrageous and dishonorable conduct to Toyota North

The company's culpability was alleged in these items in the complaint:

9. On information and belief, throughout defendant Otaka’s career with
Toyota Japan and its affiliated entities he had the reputation of repeatedly engaging
and/or attempting to engage in extra-marital sexual relationships.

10. At the time defendant Otaka was appointed to the position of Toyota
North America’s President and CEO, both Toyota Japan and Toyota North America
were, or should have been, aware of defendant Otaka’s reputation of abusing previous
positions of authority within Toyota Japan by repeatedly engaging in or attempting to
engage in extra-marital sexual relationships.

11. Rather than either terminate defendant Otaka or ensure that defendant
Otaka was placed in a position in which he could not abuse his position of authority over
Toyota’s female employees, the world’s seventh largest corporation and its wholly owned
North American subsidiary elected to place defendant Otaka in a position in which he had
absolute power and authority over 31,500 employees in North America.

107. On information and belief, no investigation concerning Plaintiff’s
complaints of sexual harassment has ever been conducted by Toyota North America
and/or Toyota Japan and defendant Otaka has not been disciplined in any manner by
either Toyota North America and/or Toyota Japan for his conduct towards Plaintiff.

Toyota later settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount. Otaka left his post. The company established new policies. We don't know if they are effective.

The scandal was written up in detail by FACTA, a Japanese investigative reporting site that later became famous for revealing the massive fraud at Olympus:


2006年7月号 BUSINESS










Read more here.