Several workers at L'Oreal Korea said they have experienced verbal abuse from a senior official, with one of them being called “worse than dirt stuck in a toenail.”
L'Oreal, a company known for the famous phrase “Because you're worth it” used in its commercials, is the latest in South Korea to be embroiled in a power abuse scandal following Korean Air.
A number of workers have been called names and sworn by their boss, according to workers at the French cosmetics company’s Korean subsidiary.
Kim, who has worked for the company for over 16 years, has been harassed by a senior official after coming back to work from long service leave, according to L'Oréal Korea’s labor union.
The senior official has been accused of pressuring Kim to give up his scheduled leave, telling him to quit for three months’ salary instead of going on leave.
The issue came to light after the senior official in question was heard swearing at a number of workers in the audio recording released earlier this month by LOK Union, one of L'Oréal Korea’s labor unions.
The official in question has since been demoted temporarily, following pressure from its headquarters, according to one official in the PR department. It is not known what position the troubled official previously held.
L'Oréal is also mired in a legal battel with a business partner over a deal involving hundreds of smartphones worth over a billion won, but the company has declined to give an official statement on the matter.
The French cosmetics firm has garnered media coverage in recent weeks after announcing plans to purchase Nanda Co., one of the leading online retailers in the country, for over 400 billion won.