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Gov't to toughen penalty for workplace sexual harassment

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By Kim Bo-eun

Employers who do not deal with cases of workplace sexual harassment as called for by law could face prison terms, the government said Tuesday.

It added that it will also check on whether firms have conducted sexual harassment prevention courses and taken proper measures when such cases occurred.

These are part of measures unveiled by the ministries of employment and labor, and gender equality and family as a means to counter such offenses within the workplace, after several cases have surfaced recently in media reports.

"We urgently drew up these measures so that a high level of social attention toward recent sexual harassment cases will lead to the prevention of such offenses within the workplace," a labor ministry official said in a briefing.

A hospital in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province, forced its nurses to dance in skimpy outfits in front of colleagues and patients as part of an annual "sports" event last month.

Allegations of rape have also surfaced at local furniture company Hanssem and Hyundai Card.

The government will seek to strengthen penalties for violating regulations on workplace sexual harassment, from fines to prison terms.

It will seek to revise the related regulations next year.

The government will also have workplaces establish an online report center and hire grievance settlement personnel to better deal with such incidents.

Kim Bo-eun


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