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Unreasonable Distinctions: A Comparative Analysis of the Definitional Framework of Korea’s New Anti-Age Discrimination Law

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Authors
Harte, R. Joseph
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
BK 21 law
Citation
Journal of Korean Law, Vol.9 No.2, pp. 245-300
Keywords
age discriminationworkplace discriminationAsiaage discriminationKoreaageismcomparative employment discrimination law
Abstract
Korea has recently enacted legislation that strengthens existing prohibitions on age discrimination by providing stiff penalties for violation. The core of any legislation lies in its definitional framework since it is through this framework that liability is ultimately established. This article examines and evaluates the scope and definitional language of the new Korean legislation through a comparative analysis of related provisions in the anti-age discrimination statutes of the US and UK. These jurisdictions are selected for comparison because they represent both a long-standing statutory regime and one that has been more recently established. The analysis reveals critical weaknesses in the structural and definitional aspects of the Korean legislation that may render determinations of liability ambiguous and therefore unreliable. Specifically, ambiguities in the scope of application due to faulty construction, reliance on a minimalist definition that appears to merely prohibit “unreasonable distinctions,” and a

confusion in the possible exceptions to discrimination raise concerns as to whether the new penalties will have any significant impact on reducing age discrimination in the Korean workplace since the prospects for ultimately reaching those penalties are doubtful.
ISSN
1598-1681
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/85168
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College of Law/Law School (법과대학/대학원)The Law Research Institute (법학연구소) Journal of Korean LawJournal of Korean Law Volume 09 Number 1/2 (2009)
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