TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星) has asked for leave until the end of an investigation into sexual harassment claims against him, reports said Saturday (Dec. 3).
The move followed a joint statement earlier in the day by eight lawmakers of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and one from the New Power Party (NPP). They demanded leave for Hsieh and an immediate restart of the investigation, the Liberty Times reported.
The legislators referred to the Gender Equality in Employment Act, which specifies that if managers become aware of a harassment case at work, they should take immediate action. Therefore, Hsieh should take leave with immediate effect or his presence could influence the investigation, the lawmakers said.
The minister had reportedly been accused of verbal harassment and inappropriate touching of female AEC staff members. He also took a secretary to a coffee shop during working hours.
Hsieh rejected the allegations, but added he had asked for leave Saturday morning and would continue to stay away from his office until the investigation was completed.