Data Reveals Alarming Increase in Workplace Harassment Incidents | Be Korea-savvy

Data Reveals Alarming Increase in Workplace Harassment Incidents

(image: Kobiz Media/Korea Bizwire)

(image: Kobiz Media/Korea Bizwire)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Korea Bizwire)The number of cases of harassment at work reported to the state labor relations commission surged last year, data showed Wednesday, largely due to a growing number of people in their 20s and 30s calling upon new labor practices.

A total of 18,118 labor dispute cases were reported last year to the National Labor Relations Commission tasked mainly with mediating labor-management disputes, according to the labor ministry. Among them, 16,027 cases were concluded.

Among all concluded cases, 13,528 cases involved ‘individual labor disputes’, an increase of 5.8 percent from the previous year, while 2,499 cases involved ‘collective disputes’, down by 17.4 percent.

“As workers’ awareness of their rights continues to expand, the number of individual labor disputes is on the rise,” the commission explained.

A majority of individual labor disputes (13,142 cases) dealt with unfair dismissals, suspensions, transfers, wage cuts and other punitive measures.

The number of unfair dismissals related to ‘harassment at work’ reached 240 cases last year. While the proportion is minimal, it jumped by a whopping 54.8 percent from the previous year.

Cases of ‘harassment at work’ are not eligible for direct remedy at the commission.

Remedy request is available, however, for unfair treatment, in which the employer fails to penalize the perpetrator, despite the harassment being reported.

A total of 139 cases dealt with discrimination last year, up by 13.9 percent from the previous year.

With a new program for correcting sexual harassment and discrimination at work introduced at the commission, the number of remedy requests have gone up.

H. M. Kang (

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