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Women File First Class-Action Harassment Suit In South Korea

Combating pervasive and “degrading” sexual harassment from their bosses, 270 women union members sued their employers at a Seoul hotel in an unprecedented class-action harassment suit. The suit charged that approximately 70 percent of female union employees at Lotte Hotel were subjected to sexual harassment, citing 480 instances that include groping, fondling, suggestive remarks, and exposure to graphic Internet sex sites. The suit also condemned the hotel management for its refusal to respond to the women’s regular complaints. “Sexual harassment has always been a fixture in Korean society but now there are more opportunities for the women to take loud action,” affirmed Park Yeon-suk, a spokeswoman for the Korean Sexual Violence Consultation Center (KSVC). Equal employment legislation prohibiting sexual harassment was enacted last year in South Korea. If the suit prevails, the Seoul District Court could award the women US$1.6 million dollars.

Sources:

South China Morning Post (http://www.scmp.com)

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