Starbucks Korea Employees Required to Take STD Tests
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Starbucks Korea Employees Required to Take STD Tests

A new civil rights organ of the national government in South Korea has been busy proposing reforms to a number of laws, one of them a carelessly worded hygiene law which requires workers at legal coffee shops and teahouses to submit to STD testing.

Hat tip to reader Jason T.

On the 16th the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission of Korea (국민권익위원회) advised coffee store chains such as Starbucks and The Coffee Bean to revise their policies of requiring female workers to submit to testing for sexually transmitted diseases, calling the practice ‘irrational’.

According to current regulations on employee hygiene (위생분야 종사자 등의 건강규칙), female workers at entertainment businesses, massage parlors, and dabangs are required to submit to testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Accordingly workers at popular coffee chains and traditional teahouses have to get tested for STDs every six months. Last December the Ministry of Health and Welfare (보건복지가족부) prepared revisions to the law which would change the provision for “dabangs” to “businesses which sell mainly tea”.

But the ACRC said, “coffee shops and teahouses unrelated to prostitution would still fall under the propsed revision, so it would represent a violation of civil rights,” and advised adopting the phrase “ticket dabangs”.

When last year the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs (국토해양부) proposed a law for the reduction of noise from airports which would place a 2,000 won fee on passengers at airports in Gimpo, Gimhae, Jeju, Ulsan, and Yeosu, the ACRC advised against it because, “the burden should fall on the operators of the noise-producing airports.”

Similarly, last year the ACRC examined 1,371 proposed or revised laws, finding 272 of them were overbroad, difficult to enforce fairly, or unjust and would therefore give rise to corruption.