A team from Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine surveyed 32,984 people aged 19 and over who had participated in a poll of office working conditions in 2014. Results showed that 5.9 percent of them suffered some sort of discriminatory experience at work, with higher showings for women (6.6 percent) compared with men (5.4 percent).
The number of people with such experiences increased with age. While it was 5.5 percent for those in their 20s, the figure increased to 4.2 percent for people in their 30s, 4.9 percent in their 40s and 7 percent in their 50s. The number reached 11.6 percent for people in their 60s and older.
There were more victims of discrimination at work when the individuals received less education, when the work was more menial and when monthly income was less than 1.3 million won ($1,148). People working at jobs with longer weekly work hours also suffered more discrimination.
The study results showed a correlation between discrimination at work and state of well-being. People who had been subjected to some type of bias more than three times at work were 2.6 times more exposed to risks of poor well-being than those who did not suffer such discrimination, according to the results.
Menial laborers (29.8 percent) and day-to-day workers (29.7 percent) were the top two jobs whose well-being was hurt the most by work discrimination.
The team cited that prejudices against senior workers are mostly in the forms of seniors being the first to be let go or being barred from job applications because of their age. It said aged workers also face age-based biases even after being hired.
"Discrimination is a social problem that should be dealt with sincerely at the global level, an important factor from the perspective of public health because of the consequences on individuals' health," the study said. (Yonhap)