Osaka Labor Bureau to report NOVA, ex-boss Sahashi to public prosecutors

The Osaka Labor Bureau has decided to send documents to public prosecutors accusing collapsed English school NOVA and its former president, Nozomu Sahashi, of violating the Labor Standards Law by failing to pay workers’ wages.

The bureau has obtained information on NOVA’s financial status from a preservation administrator for the firm, and is continuing an investigation into the company.

Bureau officials have already questioned teachers over the company’s actions. They questioned Sahashi over the allegations against him on Oct. 29. Sahashi reportedly admitted that salary payments remained outstanding.

“We tried to somehow raise the funds, but we couldn’t gather the money together,” Sahashi was quoted as saying. It is believed that the labor bureau investigated the circumstances surrounding the unpaid wages, and concluded that it was able to question his criminal liability.

NOVA’s financial situation has plummeted since June this year, when the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry handed the firm a partial business suspension order. The company has not made salary payments that were supposed to be delivered to foreign teachers and Japanese employees in September and October. The amount of unpaid wages is over 2 billion yen.

The General Union to which teachers and other NOVA workers belong earlier requested that a case against NOVA and Sahashi be formed, saying that the continued delayed payment of wages violated the Labor Standards Law.