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Monday, February 2, 2015


I’ve been under-the-weather with flu this past week. In Japan, it’s mandatory to take five days off from work as soon as the doctor diagnosis flu. It’s a sound policy and I understand that the purpose is to keep the flu from spreading. However, in order to get those five days off with pay, a note must be provided by the doctor. The note cost 3200 yen. When Erika discovered this information, she went ballistic. “What do you mean, I have to pay 3200 yen for paperwork stating that my husband has the flu? You are making my husband stay home from work AND you are charging him to do so? I won’t pay for that paperwork! Here’s a receipt stating he has the flu…that’s enough! Make this receipt work or I’ll go to the mayor!”

As you have read, Erika was/is upset about this matter. I’m not sure where this will end up, but we feel it’s important to speak up and try to change this policy. Too many people with barely enough income to survive are forced to take time off from work. On top of that, they are forced to pay 3200 yen to receive compensation for work missed. Stay tuned…       George

Update:  There is no room for negotiations. I was not aware that I was required to see a doctor to be diagnosed with the flu. I visited the doctor on Wednesday because my health was not improving. Monday and Tuesday will have to come from my vacation pay. The remainder of the week will be paid only if the 3200 yen doctor's note is provided. Moral to the story: It doesn't pay to get sick.

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