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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Alcohol damages for Seoul woman
Women drinking wine
The woman said she had to drink until early in the morning
A South Korean woman pressured by her former boss to drink alcohol at company dinners has been awarded damages by a court.

The unidentified woman's ex-employer was told to pay her 30m won (16,275) by the Seoul High Court.

"It's a violation of human dignity to force one to drink against his or her will," Judge Kang-Young-ho was quoted as saying by the Associated Press (AP).

Heavy drinking sessions are common in South Korea's corporate culture.

A lower court had already ruled in favour of the woman's case and awarded her 7m won (3,800) in compensation, which was increased by the high court's ruling.

If he or she suffered mental stress through forced drinking, it constitutes an illegal act
Judge Kang

The court had heard the drinking sessions went on as late as 0300, twice a week.

Her employer, according to AP, once threatened he would get a male colleague to kiss her if she did not take part in the drinking sessions. He also pressured her to drink when she was suffering from stomach problems, the agency reported.

"Forcing drinking against (an employee's) limit and willingness infringes on personal rights," the court said in a statement.

"If he or she suffered mental stress through forced drinking, it constitutes an illegal act," Judge Kang was quoted by AFP.


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