Former airline CEO fined for refusing to give flight attendants menstrual leave

Leah Sinclair
·1-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

A former airline CEO has been fined almost $1,800 (£1,300) for denying female staff the right to take menstrual leave.

In South Korea, menstrual leave is protected by employment law and allows women to take one or two days off a month, sometimes unpaid, when they are having their period.

In 2017, Kim Soo-cheon, the former head of Asiana Airlines, was indicted for rejected 138 requests for menstrual leave by 15 flight attendants between May 2014 and June 2015.

Mr Kim stated that the employees did not provide proof of menstruation.

He added there were "many suspicious cases" when employees asked for leave around holidays or days off, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.

However, in the initial ruling, the court said that asking employees to prove they were having their period could "infringe upon privacy and human rights".

An upper court also turned down Mr Kim’s appeal, according to Yonhap.

They said there was no justifiable reason the requests were denied even when considering special circumstances and the portion of female employees.

The top court also upheld the earlier ruling, saying there was no legal mistake or misunderstanding.

Since 1953, women in South Korea have been allowed to take one day off a month if they have painful periods.

Other countries which allow menstrual leave include Indonesia, Taiwan and Zambia.

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