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South Korea tackles workaholic culture with new labor law

Companies shut off computers and send bosses warnings to avoid overtime

Employees going home after after 5 p.m. in Seoul.

SEOUL -- South Korea is embarking on its own labor reforms to reduce overwork, resorting to draconian punishments on violators, but companies worried about greater costs may not necessarily increase hiring as hoped for by the government.

The revised law that went into effect Sunday slashes the maximum workweek to 52 hours from 68 for companies with 300 employees or more -- equal to 12 hours of overtime. Violations will cost employers up to two years in prison or a fine of 20 million won ($17,882).

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