MUFG Brokerage Manager Claims Harassment Led to Unpaid Leave

(Bloomberg) -- Glen Wood, an equity sales manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., filed a harassment claim against the Japanese brokerage and asked a Tokyo court to order the firm to withdraw its decision to put him on unpaid leave.

The Canadian national claims he was told to take leave without pay earlier this month and alleges he suffered two years of mistreatment after informing the firm that he was going to become a father, according to a petition filed to the Tokyo District Court on Thursday and obtained by Bloomberg.

Wood, a former employee at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., joined Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley in September 2012 as a manager of a team selling Japan stocks to local and overseas investors. The 47-year-old single parent, whose son was born in October 2015, claims in the petition that his requests to take paternity leave were rejected until December of that year after he took a DNA test to prove he was the father. 

When he returned to work in March 2016, Wood was excluded from important meetings, recruitment interviews and travel abroad, according to the filing. After taking six months’ sick leave from January this year, he claims that he was asked to take on a different position with reduced pay. The company put him on administrative leave without pay on Oct. 18 when he rejected the new role, according to the document.

Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley’s Tokyo-based spokesman Hiroaki Konishi declined to comment. Wood’s lawyer, Yoshitatsu Imaizumi, confirmed the filing of the petition earlier Thursday.

Work-First Culture

In Japan, fathers are allowed to take as long as a year off after the birth of a child and receive a portion of their salary, though only about 3 percent take advantage of the law, Labor Ministry figures show. With Japan’s workforce declining, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been calling for men to be more involved in childcare to help their wives stay in employment after becoming mothers.

“The reason men don’t take paternity leave is not that they don’t want to, it’s that they can’t,” said Reiko Onishi, general secretary of the women’s department at the National Confederation of Trade Unions. “The culture assumes men must work extremely hard, and women work but look after the kids and do the housework too.”

Wood said his employer probably doubted his ability to perform while raising a child on his own. 

“They have an old-fashioned way of thinking,” he said at a news briefing in Tokyo on Thursday. “They don’t believe that I could still do my job now.”

He said in the petition that he was highly evaluated by the firm -- a venture between majority owner Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley. During his tenure, revenue rose and the client base increased, according to the document.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

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