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Posted : 2018-02-20 11:12
Updated : 2018-02-20 11:12

Hanssem caught forcing pregnant woman to work

Hanssem caught forcing pregnant woman to work

By Kim Jae-heun

Hanssem, Korea's top furniture maker, has once again come under criticism for forcing pregnant women to work overtime and on holidays, violating the nation's labor laws.
The violation has surfaced less than a year after the company was involved in a sexual harassment scandal. The prosecution will likely summon Hanssem CEO Choi Yang-ha soon for questioning.
The Ministry of Employment and Labor said Tuesday it has discovered many violations of the Labor Standards Act forcing pregnant women to work during a month-long supervision period starting last Nov. 7. The government defines pregnant women as those who are currently pregnant or mothers who gave birth within a year.
According to the ministry, Hanssem put 16 pregnant women to work at night and on holidays and forced 27 to work overtime without government permission.
The law allows pregnant women to only work under the agreement of the employment and labor minister.
Women who gave birth within a year cannot work overtime for more than two hours a day, six hours a week or 150 hours a year.
Those who are pregnant cannot be forced to work against their will at all.
Violating the law puts a business owner behind bars for two years or penalizes less than 10 million won.
The ministry official said they have decided to refer Choi to the prosecution under the recommendation of indictment according to the results of the ministry's inspection.
Meanwhile, the ministry found Hanssem reduced the salary of a victim of sexual harassment, who alleged a male colleague raped her. The furniture company also punished the victim for her promotion on the grounds of causing chaos within the firm. The female worker is said to have resigned last year.
The ministry also fined Hanssem 2 million won for failing to provide sexual harassment training for its employees and imposed a 20 million won penalty for not punishing five employees who were found to have sexually harassed colleagues.
According to the law in force, failing to provide sexual harassment training is punished with a fine under 3 million won. Companies not taking action against sexual assault are fined less than 5 million won, and those disadvantaging victims can receive a penalty of less than 20 million won to under three years of imprisonment.
The company's PR department declined to answer The Korea Times' phone calls.
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