Height, weight and marital status discrimination limits expanded

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Height, weight and marital status discrimination limits expanded

Civic groups protest in front of the national assembly for gender equality in the office. [NEWS1]

Civic groups protest in front of the national assembly for gender equality in the office. [NEWS1]

 
It may soon be illegal to hire based on height, weight or marital status. 
 
A revision to the Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Family Balance Assistance Act was approved at a cabinet meeting Tuesday, the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced.
 
Once the revision passes the National Assembly, employers will be penalized if they demand applicants to be single or of a certain height or a certain weight.
 
Currently, the act only prohibits employers from demanding these details from women. The revision passed Tuesday will expand the restriction to cover both men and women “laborers.” It will go into effect immediately once it passes the National Assembly.
 
Parental leave will be expanded to cover pregnancy starting next year if the revisions pass. Before, employees could only take parental leave for child care purposes.
 
Under the current law, pregnant workers could either cut their working hours during pregnancy or take leave before and after giving birth.
 
The existing law was criticized for its limits. Working hours could only be reduced during the first 12 weeks or after 36 weeks of pregnancy. Work leave was only allowed for the 44 days before the expected day of delivery.
 
The revision stipulates women workers can take parental leave during pregnancy to protect them from risks of a miscarriage or stillbirth. They will be able to go on parental leave for any one-year period of their choosing.
 
Sexual harassment at the office will face heavier punishment. Victims of sexual harassment or gender discrimination can apply to the government’s Labor Relations Committee if the employer does not take corrective action.
 
BY MOON BYUNG-JOO, KANG JAE-EUN   [kang.jaeeun@joogang.co.kr]
 

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