December 18, 2018, 07:04:59 PM


Author Topic: Violating law & contract - Immigration looks other way  (Read 331 times)

Offline Cedrus

  • Newgookin
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
Violating law & contract - Immigration looks other way
« on: December 02, 2018, 01:27:17 PM »
My employer is treating me (along with my two North American co-workers) as independent contractors. This is evident in my tax rate, being deprived health insurance, the fact that no money has been paid to my pension account, and so on.

You may have read 'English teachers duped by employers in Korea' in some online paper called The Korea Observer:

With a deep sigh he lamented that immigration has no authority over insurance and employee benefit disputes and is heavily understaffed to effectively crack down on hakwons’ unethical business practices.

“If you have been forced to work as a freelancer on an E-2 visa, report the hakwon to immigration so that we can restrict E-2 visa issuance to the problematic hakwon and provide a D-10 job seeking visa to you.”

An official at Seoul Global Center concurred with him, noting that it is mandatory for all hakwons to cover the half the cost of health insurance and other employee benefits.


I (naively) followed this advice and took my case to Immigration to report my employer and ask if getting a D10 would require a letter of release from my employer ... I showed them documentation from the tax office, NPS, my payslips, and contract wherein I'm deemed an 'employee'. At first they said that this is a matter for MOEL. Then I explained that MOEL had told me that it's a matter for Immigration, and that for E2 visa holders, MOEL only handles matters of non-compensated work (not getting paid). After a lengthy discussion, the Immigration staff concluded that 1) there was nothing they could do about my employer, and 2) I DO need a letter of release. I made the 2-hour journey back from Immigration feeling disheartened, angry, and powerless.

Surely I'm not alone in this situation! What is our recourse?

Online thunderlips

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gender: Male
Re: Violating law & contract - Immigration looks other way
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 10:04:55 PM »
Wait to be deported for violating some protectionist law against your employer?

Best bet may be if all three of you play hardball. Go into work with your demands say that you all will be quitting if there isn’t an immediate change.

Have you contacted the labor office or a free legal service like Seoul Global center?

Bottom line be prepared to walk or suck it up until you complete your contract.

Good luck though.

Offline Cedrus

  • Newgookin
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Male
Re: Violating law & contract - Immigration looks other way
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 10:37:55 PM »
'labor office', meaning MOEL? Or are you referring to something different?

I've consulted with staff at the Global Center (among MOEL, Immigration, NHIS, NPS, and the tax office). The ideal way to go would be a free legal consultation with an attorney at the Global Center. Unfortunately, I teach during their only available hours.

---

Of the three of us, two care. However, we're both concerned that if we let them know that we've figured out what's up and that we're not at all okay with it, we may be fired and denied a letter of release. (This is the issue I raised with Immigration) Anyway, thanks for the reply.

I formerly taught here at a public school, where everything was pretty simple and transparent. So it can feel doubly frustrating to return to Korea and end up in crap situation like this.

Online thunderlips

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
  • Gender: Male
Re: Violating law & contract - Immigration looks other way
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 07:36:57 AM »
'labor office', meaning MOEL? Or are you referring to something different?

I've consulted with staff at the Global Center (among MOEL, Immigration, NHIS, NPS, and the tax office). The ideal way to go would be a free legal consultation with an attorney at the Global Center. Unfortunately, I teach during their only available hours.

---

Of the three of us, two care. However, we're both concerned that if we let them know that we've figured out what's up and that we're not at all okay with it, we may be fired and denied a letter of release. (This is the issue I raised with Immigration) Anyway, thanks for the reply.

I formerly taught here at a public school, where everything was pretty simple and transparent. So it can feel doubly frustrating to return to Korea and end up in crap situation like this.

Oh yeah sorry, I misread that as Education Office for some reason in your post.

Damn that really sucks though. This is the biggest problem in Korea employers can manipulate the law to work for them, but there are nearly no protections for the workers especially foreign NET's.

I'd take a sick day and go see the lawyers at Seoul Global.

Maybe try posting on this website, but don't use your employers name or the name of the business.

https://www.epeople.go.kr/jsp/user/on/eng/FrnPcCvreqForm.paid