News : Dasan Center to Take Legal Action Against Nasty Callers
Feb 10, 2014 -- The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) announces that it will take legal action against callers who sexually harass or use abusive and threatening language to staff at the Dasan Call Center.
The measure is in response to its human rights committee’s recommendations to protect staff from such calls in the wake of rising abuse directed against them.
Beginning Tuesday, the SMG will immediately report cases of sexual harassment by callers to police -- a change from its previous policy of issuing two warnings to violators before filing a complaint.
Offensive caller using violent language or threats will be warned twice by staff, before being reported to the police.
Staff will also have the option of ending calls if they feel harassed after issuing a first warning.
The call center’s employee guidelines until now prohibited them from hanging up before callers. They were allowed to hang up only after giving two warnings if they were threatened or sexually harassed.
Call center employees have been targets of diverse forms of verbal abuse and unreasonable demands from callers. In one instance a person wanted to know the location of every fast-food eatery near stations on subway line 7.
According to the SMG, some 1,000 abusive calls were made to the call center in the second half of last year, which inflicted "emotional pain" on staff, and were labeled as a violation of their human rights.
The SMG has so far taken legal actions against just nine people. It explained that it treated them leniently out of caution of violating their human rights. The SMG Human Rights Committee said this position "severely" violated the human rights of the call center’s staff.
"By stepping up legal measures, the city government will do its utmost to protect employees’ human rights and prevent service quality from being compromised by malign calls," said Kim Seon-soon, an SMG official.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Seoul Metropolitan Government is the administrative organization of Seoul. The mayor is elected to a four-year term by the Seoul citizens and is responsible for the administration of the city government. Seoul Metropolitan Government deals with administrative affairs as the capital city of South Korea, so it is more centralized than that of most other cities with the city government being responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services.
Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2014