"We agreed to use the compensation money we received in a meaningful way."
On July 27, the victims of the Lotte Hotel sexual harassment case donated 10 million Won from the compensation they received from the hotel to the Research Institute for the Rights of the Disabled.
Wu Myung-sim, member of the committee set up to deal with the case, said, "We didn't sue the hotel for the money in the first place, so it's only natural we use the compensation for a meaningful cause. We hope it'll be used to protect the rights of disabled women victimized by sexual violence."
46 women members of the Lotte Hotel labor union filed a lawsuit in 2000, claiming that they had suffered repeated sexual harassment from hotel executives and demanding 1.76 billion Won in damages. In November last year, the Court ordered the hotel to pay the victims 50 million Won.
Says Wu, "Through the lawsuit, we showed that corporate responsibility for its employees extends beyond working hours to company outings and such. But one limitation we faced was that we weren't able to make the company accountable for stemming sexual harassment that occurs on a daily basis, such as browsing pornographic websites in the office in front of women employees."
Wu also mentioned that although the 46 women had not decided in detail how they wanted to spend the rest of the money, they wished to continue funding efforts to protect women's rights.
In February, the Korea Women's Association United lauded the efforts of 50 Lotte Hotel women labor union members in "winning a lawsuit that acknowledged for the first time in Korea the responsibility of companies in preventing and dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace," and awarded them the Stepping Stone Prize.