Read 1170 times

  • tik2018
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • February 21, 2018, 01:05:19 pm
Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« on: October 06, 2021, 01:31:43 pm »
I am terminating my employment with Gyeonggi Office of Education as an English Teacher mid-contract. They say that I now owe them monthly rent, real estate commission, cost of moving furniture, container rental to store the furniture, and housing utilities until/if someone else moves in. Is that normal? I have never heard of that. Also, they're making me leave the apartment on my last day of work. Can they make me pay rent for a place that I am not allowed to stay at?


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2021, 02:15:01 pm »
I am terminating my employment with Gyeonggi Office of Education as an English Teacher mid-contract. They say that I now owe them monthly rent, real estate commission, cost of moving furniture, container rental to store the furniture, and housing utilities until/if someone else moves in. Is that normal? I have never heard of that. Also, they're making me leave the apartment on my last day of work. Can they make me pay rent for a place that I am not allowed to stay at?

Is any of that in the contract?  I've never seen a public school contract with those clauses.  The terms for an early departure are clearly spelled out and include none of those things.  Someone who you're inconveniencing or upsetting by leaving is lying to you in order to scare you into a different choice, I'd guess.  They can't even keep any of your security deposit beyond anything that's clearly owed on bills.  You earned that money and it's yours.  They aren't allowed to keep it as a punitive measure.  Who is telling you these things?  If it's someone at your school show them the contract and say it's going to brought to the MOEL in a complaint if they try and do any of that.  They're either bluffing or a complete idiot.  Depending on how much time you've been there you may have to pay back renewal bonus or settlement money.  Anyways, go through the contract.  Be prepared to follow through with the MOEL.


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2021, 02:20:49 pm »
Check your contract Article 13.5 (from the Gyeonggi version)

Quote
Once housing is decided, it shall not be subsequently changed during the Term of Employment. Any and all costs incurred by the Employee's decision to change Housing during the Term of Employment shall be borne by the  Employee.

This is how they get you when you quit early.


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2021, 02:32:25 pm »
This is definitely one of those things you'll need to discuss with a lawyer first. It sounds like an illegal punitive clause to me and therefore not enforceable, but it also could be a gray area.

I don't know how Gyeonggi still manages to get people to contract with them, honestly.

Anyway, you might want to contact the Seoul Global Center or even the MOEL for information.


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2021, 02:42:32 pm »
Check your contract Article 13.5 (from the Gyeonggi version)

This is how they get you when you quit early.

Interesting, but they'll no longer be their employee.  I think that applies to when people want to leave the school housing and try to receive the stipend mid year.  Like someone met another person and thought they could shack up and get a pay bump up.


  • tik2018
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • February 21, 2018, 01:05:19 pm
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2021, 02:48:24 pm »
Article 20 says that if the contract is terminated by request of the employee, the employee has to indemnify the employer against any damages that may occur due to the termination of the contract including, but not limited to any housing fees which the employer incurs after the termination of the contract. The office of education is the one that stated that I owe said things above. I guess there's nothing that can be done....


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4548

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2021, 03:02:27 pm »
Check your contract Article 13.5 (from the Gyeonggi version)

This is how they get you when you quit early.

It says when you change housing and you did NOT change housing.  They hire another teacher adn put them in there instead.  It just seems they are being pricks and seeking retribution against you.  Refuse to pay it and tell them the contract doesn't say you have to pay it.  YOU did not change places.  Lately, Koreans seem to want to take obscure clauses and re interpret them as something else when it doesn't actually say that.  However, they may try to keep your last pay and try some other nonsense.  Go to the labor board.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4548

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2021, 03:04:25 pm »
Article 20 says that if the contract is terminated by request of the employee, the employee has to indemnify the employer against any damages that may occur due to the termination of the contract including, but not limited to any housing fees which the employer incurs after the termination of the contract. The office of education is the one that stated that I owe said things above. I guess there's nothing that can be done....

I have never heard of the education office doing this before.  Seems like some vindictive spiteful; a holes working there and nothing more.  The more they treat teachers like shit the more and more will leave.  Give it a couple of years.  (Although many of my schools are personally nice enough to me.  The whole enivironment does want to drive people out recently.) 


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2021, 03:05:10 pm »
Article 20 says that if the contract is terminated by request of the employee, the employee has to indemnify the employer against any damages that may occur due to the termination of the contract including, but not limited to any housing fees which the employer incurs after the termination of the contract. The office of education is the one that stated that I owe said things above. I guess there's nothing that can be done....

I wouldn't give up so quickly, you should definitely talk to someone who knows more about the law and what employers are actually legally permitted to do. Just because it's in a contract does not mean it's legally enforceable. Law trumps contracts, never the other way around.

Consult with a legal expert first.


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 03:07:13 pm »
I have never heard of the education office doing this before.

Not saying it isn't vindictive but they do it all the time. It's nothing new, unfortunately.


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2021, 03:12:33 pm »
Article 20 says that if the contract is terminated by request of the employee, the employee has to indemnify the employer against any damages that may occur due to the termination of the contract including, but not limited to any housing fees which the employer incurs after the termination of the contract. The office of education is the one that stated that I owe said things above. I guess there's nothing that can be done....

Like Chinguetti said, the MOEL trumps your education office.  Don't just give in. Them threatening that doesn't make it legal.  Doesn't matter what a clause says if it's not legal.  Fire off an email to the MOEL and tell your office of education that you're going to pursue the matter and see what happens.  Someone is going to have to show up on behalf of your school or education office if you file a grievance.  No one wants to be that person if they have a legitimate beef, let alone if they're trying to pull a fast one. 


  • nightninja
  • Expert Waygook

    • 506

    • April 02, 2018, 03:20:32 pm
    • Korea
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2021, 11:40:35 am »
I think this is rare to actually happen, but that different provinces probably do have policies in place that give the school an option to do so, rather than write it in the contract because of its potential to be illegal....however, they do know most will not go far when fighting it .......I know my area has these policies but it's usually never enforced


  • tik2018
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • February 21, 2018, 01:05:19 pm
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2021, 03:36:33 pm »
Update: apparently legally they are within their rights and there's nothing I can do but negotiate with the school, which the school does not want to do so I am SOL.


  • KoreaBoo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 644

    • May 25, 2014, 04:00:42 pm
    • Vancouver Island
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2021, 10:37:16 pm »
Update: apparently legally they are within their rights and there's nothing I can do but negotiate with the school, which the school does not want to do so I am SOL.

How was this verified?  Stating 'apparently' isn't factual, but more opinion in this context.  If your contract is up, you can leave.  You did not sign a lease?  Not your problem.  No matter what 'penalty clauses' are in the contract, those are not enforceable.

That does not mean they may just deduct what they want from your pay (which tells you a lot about the professionalism of businesses and gov't organizations here), but they legally cannot.

Move on and enjoy life.


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2021, 07:53:15 am »
I am guessing that you are finishing your contract early.  If you were completing  your contract then you wouldn't have to pay any of this.  If you are choosing to finish early then I expect you will have to pay - unless you can find someone to move in when you leave and the landlord can make a new contract with them.  The contract is with the landlord and they don't have to rush to find someone else to move in as they are still receiving the money until the end of the contract.  I can understand the school not wanting to paying for the empty room.


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2021, 10:14:05 am »
The MOEL told you all of these deductions were legal?  Doesn’t matter what you’re office of education or school staff say. Did you file or have a discussion with the MOEL?   


Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2021, 01:58:21 pm »
File an official complaint with the epeople website and contact Seoul global center for legal advice. Pay for a lawyer or a labor advocate.


  • tik2018
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • February 21, 2018, 01:05:19 pm
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2021, 02:37:47 pm »
Update: apparently legally they are within their rights and there's nothing I can do but negotiate with the school, which the school does not want to do so I am SOL.

I did speak with a lawyer, who told me that they are legally within their rights to require the list of fees they gave me because the contact is ambiguous enough to give them that leeway. Furthermore, every step with them is a fight and I'm not sure how much is just a fault in language barriers or the school wanting to punish me for leaving. Today they claimed that they were keeping my 900,000 won security deposit and I had to pay all the fees out of pocket, but that is most definitely not what the contract says and they've already taken out 300,000 won of the settlement allowance that I have to return out of my last paycheck (without my permission). They get mad at me every time I ask questions or for clarification, even though it's not like I'm trying to weasel my way out of paying. I just want things to be done properly since it's my money and the school definitely does not have my best interests at heart.


  • njarlson
  • Adventurer

    • 41

    • March 02, 2021, 07:33:45 am
    • South Korea
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2021, 11:55:16 am »
I did speak with a lawyer, who told me that they are legally within their rights to require the list of fees they gave me because the contact is ambiguous enough to give them that leeway. Furthermore, every step with them is a fight and I'm not sure how much is just a fault in language barriers or the school wanting to punish me for leaving. Today they claimed that they were keeping my 900,000 won security deposit and I had to pay all the fees out of pocket, but that is most definitely not what the contract says and they've already taken out 300,000 won of the settlement allowance that I have to return out of my last paycheck (without my permission). They get mad at me every time I ask questions or for clarification, even though it's not like I'm trying to weasel my way out of paying. I just want things to be done properly since it's my money and the school definitely does not have my best interests at heart.

Yeah, from what's written in the contract, this does all seem legal. However, it is good to know what they're using the money for so definitely keep on pushing, even if they are annoyed. I just checked my Gyeonggi contract and it says that if there are any fees you need to pay, it should come from your security deposit first and then out of pocket if it exceeds the 900k, but it also says that if there are damages you'd need to pay, "these shall be confirmed in written form by the Employee."(article 20 clause 3) So from what I'd understand from that, they would need to present the damages to you in writing before they can take your money. The contract does also say that if you resign before you finish your first year, you need to pay back the flight and settlement allowance (article 10 clause 5).


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: Quitting EPIK contract Gyeonggi consequences
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2021, 11:58:04 am »
I did speak with a lawyer, who told me that they are legally within their rights to require the list of fees they gave me because the contact is ambiguous enough to give them that leeway. Furthermore, every step with them is a fight and I'm not sure how much is just a fault in language barriers or the school wanting to punish me for leaving. Today they claimed that they were keeping my 900,000 won security deposit and I had to pay all the fees out of pocket, but that is most definitely not what the contract says and they've already taken out 300,000 won of the settlement allowance that I have to return out of my last paycheck (without my permission). They get mad at me every time I ask questions or for clarification, even though it's not like I'm trying to weasel my way out of paying. I just want things to be done properly since it's my money and the school definitely does not have my best interests at heart.

You're not looking for a letter of release so tell them you don't agree with their deductions and file a grievance.  I hired a labour lawyer that apparently was well regarded years back for a last minute firing and he was useless.  There was a thread (on ESL cafe) about a teacher who did the midnight run and he still got his security deposit back after his school initially tired to keep it.  He went through the MOEL. That's taken out of wages you earned.  They can't just keep that.  If you're not going to file with the ministry of employment and labour then you're just going to let them do what they want.  File and make them show up to a meeting and explain how they are legally keeping your security deposit and all the other claims.  Worst case scenario, you lose.  Very possible scenario, they're told they can't just do what they want and you get some or all of what you're owed.  Your school is being shitty, and if they want to fight it someone is going to have to show up at that labour meeting and they won't like it. 

Short story, don't just get feedback here.  Phone the Global Help Center and ask how to file a grievance.  It won't just get swept away.  If you do nothing, they will do what they want.  Make them accountable.  Make them justify to the labour board all the punitive measures they're taking.  You're just letting them do it, otherwise.  Don't let coming on here be all the action you take.  File and keep us updated.