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Court rules against verbal notice of dismissal by foreign ministry

Politics 14:40 February 15, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been ordered by a court to cancel the dismissal of an employee of an affiliated institution accused of sexually harassing fellow employees, due to its violation of the standard disciplinary procedure, judicial officials said Tuesday.

The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of the employee in a lawsuit against the foreign ministry over its dismissal decision made in August 2020, citing its failure to notify of the disciplinary measure in writing.

This file image from Yonhap News TV depicts workplace harassment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This file image from Yonhap News TV depicts workplace harassment. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The case dates back to June 2020, when the ministry confirmed in an audit that the employee had committed sexual harassment, inappropriate physical contact and workplace harassment against fellow employees.

Two months later, the ministry notified the head of the affiliated institution of the dismissal of the employee. The head then verbally notified the employee of the dismissal decision. The employee filed an administrative lawsuit in November of the same year, insisting the dismissal was procedurally illegal.

The court said it is against the law for the ministry not to give a notice of dismissal in writing to the employee.

The Administrative Procedure Act stipulates that dispositions from administrative agencies be notified in writing, except for special cases.

The ministry has appealed against the ruling.


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