After hospitals came under fire for senior physicians’ sexual violence against juniors, pharmaceutical companies are following suit. Pfizer Korea on Thursday was in the hot seat for punishing a senior employee for sexual harassment, following Novartis Korea’s sexual scandal a day earlier.
Pfizer’s case was revealed through an anonymity mobile application Blind, where a pharmaceutical industry worker wrote up a posting about a sexual harassment scandal. According to the posting, a senior employee at Pfizer Korea inappropriately touched body parts of a female junior worker at a drinking session in July. However, the company simply moved the senior to another department, without additional punishment, the posting showed.
“For more than a decade, whenever he was in a drinking session, he touched female workers’ bodies while faking a hug,” said an online user who identified his/herself as an employee of Pfizer Korea.
“Despite his behaviors, he was transferred to manage wholesale without facing any punitive measure. As I read the personnel notice through e-mail, I find myself speechless.”
Another online user and a worker at Pfizer Korea said: “The offender came to work with a smile on his face and the victim was forced to have a vacation. It is disgusting that the company seems to shelter a culprit who should not be in his senior position,” criticizing the company’s response.”
As for the scandal, Pfizer Korea said it took due procedures to properly handle the case.
“After receiving the report (on the sexual harassment), the company quickly set up measures to prevent recurrence of such case. We cannot open detailed punishment, but we took appropriate measures (to the offender),” a Pfizer Korea official told Korea Biomedical Review on the phone on Thursday. “To prevent recurrence, the company decided to enhance training and apply stricter rules.”
The official went on to say that the company had various criteria for punishment, taking into account both of the stories and figuring out how serious the case was.
Pfizer Group emphasizes that it has a work environment without any racial discrimination or sexual harassment in its code of business conduct, which applies to all of the employees around the world.
Pfizer’s “Blue Book” states that “Pfizer workers have the right to work in an environment where they get respect from colleagues.” It also states that “Pfizer’s policies against discrimination and harassment are globally applied.”
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