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December 13, 2005

Nova, Teacher Settle Out of Court

Japan's largest English conversation school chain has settled out of court with a former teacher. Nova agreed to pay ¥400,000 to the Australian who sued them after he was financially penalized for associating with a female student. The company's standard contract includes a rule prohibiting teachers from associating with students, although the Osaka Bar Association last year recommended that it be removed following a similar case where a teacher was fired.

The Australian teacher joined Nova in October 1999 and was promoted three years later, entitling him to a monthly bonus of ¥20,000. But the company refused to continue paying him the bonus in February 2004 citing his "inappropriate ties" with the student. The teacher sued his employer for ¥1.8 million, for compensation and unpaid bonuses, in May 2004 saying that the relationship was a private matter. The district court urged the two sides to reach an amicable arrangement, which they did last month.
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