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Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« on: February 21, 2017, 05:48:40 pm »
I decided to sign up and post because I keep hearing of so many teachers that are being screwed out of money and it could be avoided by following this advice.

In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans, but Korean bosses shouldn't be able to fire you suddenly on the spot, especially if you are near the end of your contract. The problem that many teachers face is that they come into work some time near the end of their contract and their boss tells them that they're being fired and that they shouldn't come into work the next day (or perhaps shouldn't even leave immediately) and this is the worst thing you can do. When you walk out of that building you are quitting your job and your employer is going to tell the other employees that you didn't show up for work and then they won't pay you what you deserve. Then you may have a hard time with the labor board or with a lawyer trying to get your severance and last month's pay because you have no proof that you were fired (and your boss may not even use the word).

If you are suddenly fired, just keep coming into work and stay at your desk. Teach if possible. Don't be late to work and don't leave early. I know it's awkward, but you have to stick it out. When they realize that you are not going to fall for their trick, because they have already created some tense situation and don't want to lose face, they'll try to see it through by getting you fired or by tricking you further. Do not lose your temper with them, do extra work if you have to and DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. If they make a promise that they'll do something after you sign something, it is most likely NOT true. It feels awkward not to sign something, especially if they are suddenly being nice and apologetic, but you have to say that you need time to read the document and just stall, then decline entirely. Just say you don't want to. If they make threats that they will kick you out of your house or make sure you never work in Korea again, don't do anything. They don't have that power and if they do actually do something with your apartment or possessions then call the police. All of your actions must follow the contract and must be legal.

Keep a record of what happens. Take pics of things if possible but don't let them see it. Don't antagonize them and don't tell them that you are calling the labor board. Contact the board without their knowledge. Get a trustworthy Korean friend (who you can communicate well with) to do any application with the labor board (I have no experience of this). I have known people get to this stage and then the labor board has contacted the hagwon owner, who was then apologetic to the teacher and then got them to sign something which effectively took away their severance.

If it's in your contract that you need written warnings (to be signed by you) then it will be more helpful because you can tell the labor board that you have never been given any warnings before. If your hagwon forges your signature then i'm not sure what to say. It's unlikely though.

Also, if fired, make sure you let your coworkers know, but don't talk too badly about your boss so that you look like the problem. Just make sure there are witnesses to this situation and to the fact that you are there at work on time.

While this advice is not perfect (or by any means professional) it should help out many of you that may be fired at the end of your contract.
Even if you have no problem right now, remember that in the future if you are ever fired, never leave work. Keep doing your job.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 01:28:47 pm by BulgogiNamja »


  • kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 5346

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 08:12:41 am »
+1 for some good advice.
I would also recommend that if anything like this ever happens, one should check out the LOFT (Legal Office for Foreign Teachers) page on Facebook. Several legal professionals frequent that page, and generally are happy to give legal advice for all sorts of things.


  • fdny
  • Super Waygook

    • 285

    • June 05, 2012, 06:25:05 am
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 09:16:53 am »
Damn, you would some pretty big brass monkey balls to pull that off.


  • grey
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1518

    • April 08, 2011, 04:47:11 am
    • USA
    more
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 09:36:15 am »
This seems like great advice.

I faced a Korean filled with hot air today. I just gave him a dismissive are you fLicking kidding me look and went about my day.
Ko fills half his luggage with instant noodles for his international business travels, a lesson he learned after assuming on his first trip that three packages would suffice for six days. “Man, was I wrong. Since then, I always make sure I pack enough.”
-AP


Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 10:34:34 am »
It's true that the labor board basically won't take up your case if you don't show up to work during your contract period.

But it's pretty stupid because all it does is cause a huge confrontation--I suppose Koreans are used to it but it's pretty embarrassing to say "no I'm not leaving the building" and making the owner call the police or threaten you with violence or whatever. If Korean contract law was actually worth a damn, and if our employers didn't get to hold our E-2's and the threat of deportation over our heads at all time, contracts could actually get enforced here and teachers could leave crappy jobs whenever they wanted.
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  • donuts81
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1364

    • October 20, 2010, 10:23:37 am
    • Korea
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 11:42:14 am »
Quote
If Korean contract law was actually worth a damn, and if our employers didn't get to hold our E-2's and the threat of deportation over our heads at all time, contracts could actually get enforced here and teachers could leave crappy jobs whenever they wanted.

That's the big problem. Most of the employment law is so vague and poorly worded that it leaves itself open to almost any interpretation. Even when you call the labor board you will get conflicting advice depending on who you talk to that day.
"You can't hurt me now, Mr Lee. I've lost all feeling"


  • Ptolemy
  • Super Waygook

    • 458

    • January 09, 2017, 06:25:15 am
    • Seoul
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2017, 12:04:44 pm »
In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans...

Good post, that is all true. Most foreigners here don't talk about this, I just always figured it was because these rights do not apply to most teacher jobs?

I worked in the corporate world, my Korean peers explained the tricks while out drinking. The rule is the employer must show both damage and intent. Meaning it is not enough that you are incompetent, you must have done it on purpose. Basically it's near impossible to prove that, so they would need to hire an expensive review team for months, which few want to do. There is also a large sum of money they have to pay you, it has something to do with the number of months you were at the position.

The more practical method they use, is wear you down so YOU quit. You have to be the one to do it. What the director at our place would do is call some chick into the office "do you think you are qualified for your current position?". She says "yes", of course. He says "let me now illustrate on the white board the 15 ways you fall short". That goes on for an hour. She might not quit that day, but after months she will break. This particular guy could break someone in a week, it's an art!

But I was told this is more for Samsung type corp jobs, and I'm not sure these protections exist for teachers. Anyhow make good Korean friends who will tell you all the tricks, it will make life much easier.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4144

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 12:11:44 pm »
As a civil law country, every case depends on the statutes and the contract, and precedent means nothing.

A different judge (or labor board official) on a different day can come to a very different conclusion if the laws are not explicit.


  • JNM
  • The Legend

    • 4144

    • January 19, 2015, 10:16:48 am
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2017, 12:13:59 pm »
In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans...

Good post, that is all true. Most foreigners here don't talk about this, I just always figured it was because these rights do not apply to most teacher jobs?

I worked in the corporate world, my Korean peers explained the tricks while out drinking. The rule is the employer must show both damage and intent. Meaning it is not enough that you are incompetent, you must have done it on purpose. Basically it's near impossible to prove that, so they would need to hire an expensive review team for months, which few want to do. There is also a large sum of money they have to pay you, it has something to do with the number of months you were at the position.

The more practical method they use, is wear you down so YOU quit. You have to be the one to do it. What the director at our place would do is call some chick into the office "do you think you are qualified for your current position?". She says "yes", of course. He says "let me now illustrate on the white board the 15 ways you fall short". That goes on for an hour. She might not quit that day, but after months she will break. This particular guy could break someone in a week, it's an art!

But I was told this is more for Samsung type corp jobs, and I'm not sure these protections exist for teachers. Anyhow make good Korean friends who will tell you all the tricks, it will make life much easier.

Training matrix time!

"There is a course for that.  It is 4 weeks, in Paris, and starts next week!"


Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 01:38:11 pm »
It's true that the labor board basically won't take up your case if you don't show up to work during your contract period.

But it's pretty stupid because all it does is cause a huge confrontation--I suppose Koreans are used to it but it's pretty embarrassing to say "no I'm not leaving the building" and making the owner call the police or threaten you with violence or whatever. If Korean contract law was actually worth a damn, and if our employers didn't get to hold our E-2's and the threat of deportation over our heads at all time, contracts could actually get enforced here and teachers could leave crappy jobs whenever they wanted.
But I don't think they would call police to escort you out of the building because you haven't legally been fired. If they actually did get you escorted out of the building I think that would be more helpful for your case because it would show that you're not allowed to be at work instead of them claiming that you just walked out of your job.

If you follow your contract and don't have written warnings (signed by you) against you then you shouldn't have to worry about deportation etc. The labor board will help you. They also shouldn't legally be able to kick you out of your house just like that even if they own the apartment. But most teachers leave when told to.

Many foreigners just walk away when told to and actually end up forfeiting their wages and any help that they could receive.


  • Mezoti97
  • The Legend

    • 2682

    • April 14, 2011, 03:02:50 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 02:45:05 pm »
In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans...

Good post, that is all true. Most foreigners here don't talk about this, I just always figured it was because these rights do not apply to most teacher jobs?

I worked in the corporate world, my Korean peers explained the tricks while out drinking. The rule is the employer must show both damage and intent. Meaning it is not enough that you are incompetent, you must have done it on purpose. Basically it's near impossible to prove that, so they would need to hire an expensive review team for months, which few want to do. There is also a large sum of money they have to pay you, it has something to do with the number of months you were at the position.

The more practical method they use, is wear you down so YOU quit. You have to be the one to do it. What the director at our place would do is call some chick into the office "do you think you are qualified for your current position?". She says "yes", of course. He says "let me now illustrate on the white board the 15 ways you fall short". That goes on for an hour. She might not quit that day, but after months she will break. This particular guy could break someone in a week, it's an art!

But I was told this is more for Samsung type corp jobs, and I'm not sure these protections exist for teachers. Anyhow make good Korean friends who will tell you all the tricks, it will make life much easier.

True -- good points.


  • LaChaca
  • Veteran

    • 177

    • December 28, 2015, 06:32:55 am
    • USA
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2017, 06:51:39 pm »
I decided to sign up and post because I keep hearing of so many teachers that are being screwed out of money and it could be avoided by following this advice.

In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.
.[/b]

I feel like this is something that I experienced in my contract that just finished. I was given all the worst/low leveled classes. The Korean teachers would talk about me in Korean; I know for a fact they weren't a fan of me. The foreign teachers didn't want to hang out with me for fear of retaliation. What should one do if they find themselves in this position?


Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2017, 07:00:09 pm »
I decided to sign up and post because I keep hearing of so many teachers that are being screwed out of money and it could be avoided by following this advice.

In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.
.[/b]

I feel like this is something that I experienced in my contract that just finished. I was given all the worst/low leveled classes. The Korean teachers would talk about me in Korean; I know for a fact they weren't a fan of me. The foreign teachers didn't want to hang out with me for fear of retaliation. What should one do if they find themselves in this position?
As I mentioned, just ignore them, do your job and finish the contract. If you have a long time left on your contract then you may not want to continue. I don't have any advice for building bridges with your boss or coworkers.

It's pretty unlikely for all the foreign teachers to be against you though; are you sure that it's because of a fear of retaliation?


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1570

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2017, 08:59:20 pm »
In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans...

Good post, that is all true. Most foreigners here don't talk about this, I just always figured it was because these rights do not apply to most teacher jobs?

I worked in the corporate world, my Korean peers explained the tricks while out drinking. The rule is the employer must show both damage and intent. Meaning it is not enough that you are incompetent, you must have done it on purpose. Basically it's near impossible to prove that, so they would need to hire an expensive review team for months, which few want to do. There is also a large sum of money they have to pay you, it has something to do with the number of months you were at the position.

The more practical method they use, is wear you down so YOU quit. You have to be the one to do it. What the director at our place would do is call some chick into the office "do you think you are qualified for your current position?". She says "yes", of course. He says "let me now illustrate on the white board the 15 ways you fall short". That goes on for an hour. She might not quit that day, but after months she will break. This particular guy could break someone in a week, it's an art!

But I was told this is more for Samsung type corp jobs, and I'm not sure these protections exist for teachers. Anyhow make good Korean friends who will tell you all the tricks, it will make life much easier.

If the pay were high enough, I'd endure. But the pay would have to be meet my number. It's like those, pre-90's, 'window-watching' jobs Japanese corporations did on employees who fell out of favor. Honestly my dream job, if the pay were high enough... lol


  • Grimne_Lothos
  • Expert Waygook

    • 846

    • December 28, 2011, 12:56:27 pm
    • Buyeo, south korea
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 12:34:37 pm »
should clarify that you are talking about being verbally fired.  If they fire you in written then you have been legally fired and should feel free to leave the premises and not show up for work.  If you feel that your termination was wrongful then you can then file with the labor commission.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3778

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2017, 03:33:26 pm »
As a civil law country, every case depends on the statutes and the contract, and precedent means nothing.

A different judge (or labor board official) on a different day can come to a very different conclusion if the laws are not explicit.
That's why the white envelopes do the real talking.


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1252

    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
    • Seoul
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2017, 05:20:37 pm »
If you get fired by the owner of a hagwon and they give you a written notice of being fired along with a clause in your contract that they believe was broken then you have to deal with the labor board. If you keep coming to work you can be forcefully removed by police.

If there is nothing in writing then don't leave but be careful


Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2017, 06:48:00 pm »
In Korea, for Koreans, it's generally quite hard to get a job but then it's also relatively hard for them to get fired too. Korean employers need to give significant evidence for why they're firing somebody. Because of this, many Korean employers will instead encourage the employee to leave on their own by overloading them with work and making them an outcast and to feel unwelcome, which is surprisingly effective due to this collective culture.

Foreigners don't have the same protection as Koreans...

Good post, that is all true. Most foreigners here don't talk about this, I just always figured it was because these rights do not apply to most teacher jobs?

I worked in the corporate world, my Korean peers explained the tricks while out drinking. The rule is the employer must show both damage and intent. Meaning it is not enough that you are incompetent, you must have done it on purpose. Basically it's near impossible to prove that, so they would need to hire an expensive review team for months, which few want to do. There is also a large sum of money they have to pay you, it has something to do with the number of months you were at the position.

The more practical method they use, is wear you down so YOU quit. You have to be the one to do it. What the director at our place would do is call some chick into the office "do you think you are qualified for your current position?". She says "yes", of course. He says "let me now illustrate on the white board the 15 ways you fall short". That goes on for an hour. She might not quit that day, but after months she will break. This particular guy could break someone in a week, it's an art!

But I was told this is more for Samsung type corp jobs, and I'm not sure these protections exist for teachers. Anyhow make good Korean friends who will tell you all the tricks, it will make life much easier.

True -- good points.

Hence the one year contracts and lower pay for many newer employees.  Even in many public schools, you see a lot less permanent teachers.  It's really hard to fire permanent people, kind of like in France.  In both countries, companies won't hire many permanent people - especially younger people.  In our countries, you can get fired much easier, but you can also get a job much easier too.  Flip side to both, I guess.  If I were a young Korean, I'd prob be pissed though. 

Most of us are on one year contracts.  It'd just be easier to non renew us though some hakwon owners are just @$$tards. 


  • stan rogers
  • Expert Waygook

    • 577

    • August 03, 2015, 04:16:11 am
    • Jeju Island
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2017, 11:58:15 pm »
If you don't leave you can be charged with trespassing.


  • JahMoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 639

    • May 11, 2016, 12:55:18 pm
    • Gyeonggi-do, ROK
Re: Advice: If Fired Don't Leave Work
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2017, 12:19:01 am »
If you don't leave you can be charged with trespassing.

Not realistically. They have to admit that they fired you if they're going to charge you with trespassing, which would mean that they have to fill out all the "firing you" paperwork before they can call the cops to say you're trespassing, to prove that you no longer work there. That paperwork would give you your case against them with the labor board.