Recently, a public corporation received a warning from the government for failing to prevent secondary harm to an employee who was sexually harassed at work.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy recently issued an 'organizational warning' to the Korea Mine Receipt and Mining Corporation, according to the office of Rep.

This is in accordance with the result of the National Human Rights Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Human Rights Commission) recommending an agency warning to the Corporation in February of this year, saying, "We failed to prevent secondary harm to victims of sexual harassment in the workplace." Implementation and establishment of measures to prevent recurrence of similar cases were also recommended.

'Defense the perpetrator' despite the fact of sexual harassment...

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The incident occurred in October 2019.

Employee A of the Corporation made inappropriate physical contact several times while the victim was asleep in the car on a business trip.

When the waking victim protested, Mr. A said, "I'm sorry. I guess I just lost my mind and interest."

The first instance court of the Daejeon District Court, in charge of the case, acknowledged the crime committed by Mr. A and sentenced Mr. A to 1 year in prison and 2 years of probation, saying that "the victim must have suffered significant psychological shock and suffering."

After that, Mr. A was dissatisfied with the judgment of the court of first instance and requested a trial again with the court of the second instance (appealing), and then, dissatisfied with the judgment of the second instance court, requested a trial again with the Supreme Court (appeal), but the sentence was dismissed and the sentence was confirmed.

However, the problem is that there were many voices defending Mr. A in the workplace.

During the trial process, Mr. A and another employee, Mr. B, received signatures from their colleagues asking for forgiveness from Mr. A. The petition included, "Mr. A is not a person to commit the crime of forcible molestation", "By the favor of Mr. A." It is known that it contains contents such as "It happened" and "The incident was caused by the victim's misunderstanding."

Even at that time, it was reported that about 120 of the total 250 employees of the industrial complex signed the petition, including three grievance counselors who deal with and consult with victims of sexual violence in the workplace.

Upon hearing the above facts, the victim filed a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, which judged that the collective petition of the Corporation was a 'second offense' against the victim.

Next, the Human Rights Commission recommended that the corporation take disciplinary action against Mr. B, who led the group petition, and the Corporation issued a reprimand action, such as having Mr. B to submit a written statement.

B is dissatisfied with this and has filed an administrative lawsuit.

Mr. A was dismissed after his sentence was confirmed, so he did not receive any disciplinary action for secondary harm.

Measures to respond to sexual harassment and secondary harassment in the workplace

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On the other hand, 'Article 10 of the Act on Special Cases concerning the Punishment of Sexual Violence Crimes' stipulates 'disgraceful conduct through work force'.

Because hierarchies and hierarchical relationships exist within the workplace, there may be situations in which it may be difficult to resist sexual harassment even if there is no violence or intimidation.

If found guilty of this charge, he faces imprisonment for not more than 3 years and a fine of not more than 15 million won.

The problem is that in cases of sexual harassment and harassment, it is not easy for the victim to 'obtain objective evidence' and 'respond to secondary harm' to prove the fact of the victim.

In order to obtain objective evidence, it is necessary to leave as many records as possible immediately after the incident that can determine the circumstances of the specific offense.

These include text messages, e-mails, recording conversations, and securing CCTV.

Even if direct evidence is not available, the victim's specific and coherent statements can serve as evidence.

If you have been subjected to secondary harm, such as unfavorable action or unfair personnel disposition, by the company even after notifying the person in charge of sexual harassment or harassment, you can apply for relief to the Labor Relations Commission.

In addition, depending on the conduct, criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages are possible.