Read 1270 times

  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Hello guys, I could really use your help for advice about what to do.  I will do my best to explain the situation below.

I arrived in Korea about 6 weeks ago.  After the quarantine I began working and have been working for about a month.  What I thought was going to be a good job has turned out to be a nightmare.  It has been one of the most exhausting and negative work experiences of my life and I have begun to feel my health taking a toll, both mental and physical.  I would love to stay in Korea, but I fear I may be stuck in this job in order to do that.  That is why I am making this post.  Hopefully that is not the case and there is a way out.

It all started when I found the job from Vietnam before I came.  I had an interview with the director of my school and her assistant.  The interview was great.  They were both so kind and we really hit it off (or so I thought).  I asked them about the long working schedule which was my only real concern at the time and they said not to worry as many periods would become 'rest' periods in order to make the load less.  They seemed honest, so why not believe them? Of course believing was my first mistake...sigh.  But they made it seem like everything would be ok, and since I wanted to get back to work so much I trusted them.  I also interviewed with 6-7 other schools but they were boring and unremarkable interviews, so seemed like my school now was the right choice. It felt like a no brainer.

Before arriving I even texted with my director's assistant.  She again said so many friendly things and made it seem like any concerns I had were nothing to be worried about.  Everything seemed well...and then I arrived.

I arrived for the quarantine and that was when everything changed.  From the moment I actually got to my quarantine house the way my bosses treated me was a complete 180.  During the quarantine all of the friendliness disappeared, to the point where I had to basically beg and send countless messages to my boss to even get food.  Nevertheless I still was hoping it would be positive like the interview.

Fast forward to my first day.  I finished quarantine at 12 noon, and my boss scheduled me to work at 1240.  I thought that was kind of harsh  but nevertheless, okay no problem.  I came to work for the first time excited to meet everyone, only to find my director and her assistant waiting for me with cold expressionless faces and a mountain of work to do.  There was no hello. No welcome to Korea.  Nothing.  Again, whatever I thought, okay I'll get started.

I was literally 'ordered' straight away to begin working and from that point on I have been working 12 hour days that are non stop.  I have given everything this past month to try to make it a positive experience.   I haven't complained and have been waking up at 7:30am and coming home at 9.  It is beyond exhausting.  My actual job hours say from 9am to 640pm which is already long, but I was ordered from the first day to come at 8:30 (non negotiable) and stay and finish all necessary work as well...and that is the next thing...

The extra necessary work...it is almost a quarter of the day's hours worth of stuff.  Both when I arrive and leave I have about an hour of reports to file, journals to grade, homework to input, and comments to write.  And when our monthly test comes around (it has once so far) I have to stay at the school until 9 or 10pm in order to finish everything. 

Basically to sum it it all up I am burning out even after a month.  I am busy from when I wake up at 730 until 8-9pm on average.  Eat, come home, sleep, and repeat.  Now don't get me wrong I don't mind hard work.  But my work place is so toxic it has been killing me mentally too.  There are no smiles.  No positive words said.  Literally I am ordered to do something and expected to just do it and I do.  And if I make one mistake, the assistant appears from nowhere and screams at me like I am a slave and not a person.  It is humiliating.

Anyway, the reason I have made this thread is because I have to leave this place.  It isn't even negotiable at this point.  It is just a matter of how.  I am hoping to stay in Korea as I love the country and have some friends here.  But I don't know what my options are. I don't have my ARC card yet and haven't even had my healthcheck done.  It seems like my boss doesn't care at all.  I mentioned it to her multiple times and still know nothing. 

So I am here for a month on an E2 and no ARC card yet.  Is it possible somehow to switch to a D10?  And if I try is there a way to do it before getting my first ARC? Or am I out of options until at least getting my first ARC?  The only plan I can think of after reading information online is to either try now and get a letter of release somehow and go straight to a D10.  Or, if that's not possible, then wait until I get the ARC card and then try and get the letter of release and leave.  That or...sadly...leave Korea.  Are these my only options, could either of them work?

If I have to wait until I have my ARC card, I am prepared to work the next 3 months or at least try.  But already I am dizzy almost daily from the exhaustion and haven't been sleeping well at all.  I am kind of worried about it...as it could get serious.  I hope not.

Any advice anyone has would be wholeheartedly welcome and I thank you so much.  Any questions feel free to ask and I'll include more details.  I am writing this while being exhausted beyond believe so I am not sure I have included everything.  I am American by the way and of course it is a Hagwon teaching job I am referring to.

All the best and thanks,

Brian


  • SPQR
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1010

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Sierra Leone
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2021, 08:07:07 am »
Get your passport, go to immi and cancel the entire process. Then find another
job while you are on a D10. (If that is possible.) Anyway, immi isn't as mean and
callous as they used to be. Explain your situation and get some possible courses
of action.

Stop working at that school now. How are your savings?


  • Renma
  • Veteran

    • 118

    • September 01, 2014, 06:09:42 am
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 09:16:14 am »
I don't think you can switch to a D-10 without a Letter of Release (LOR). Your school can choose whether to give you one or not, and from how you've described them I doubt they would to be honest.
I wouldn't stay there any longer, especially given the toll it's taking on you. I don't think things will improve for you. Maybe others can correct me, but I don't believe you can change your visa or switch jobs without the LOR, and if you quit without one your E-2 visa will be terminated.

TBH the advice I would give is to go home, either after giving the 30 days notice or just leave now without notifying them (have you even been paid yet?). Once your current E-2 visa period ends, you can apply again for a different job (so next October?)

With hagwons, don't trust anything if it isn't in writing. Maybe try for a public school next time, they are much more consistent.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4574

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 09:41:18 am »
Hello guys, I could really use your help for advice about what to do.  I will do my best to explain the situation below.

I arrived in Korea about 6 weeks ago.  After the quarantine I began working and have been working for about a month.  What I thought was going to be a good job has turned out to be a nightmare.  It has been one of the most exhausting and negative work experiences of my life and I have begun to feel my health taking a toll, both mental and physical.  I would love to stay in Korea, but I fear I may be stuck in this job in order to do that.  That is why I am making this post.  Hopefully that is not the case and there is a way out.

It all started when I found the job from Vietnam before I came.  I had an interview with the director of my school and her assistant.  The interview was great.  They were both so kind and we really hit it off (or so I thought).  I asked them about the long working schedule which was my only real concern at the time and they said not to worry as many periods would become 'rest' periods in order to make the load less.  They seemed honest, so why not believe them? Of course believing was my first mistake...sigh.  But they made it seem like everything would be ok, and since I wanted to get back to work so much I trusted them.  I also interviewed with 6-7 other schools but they were boring and unremarkable interviews, so seemed like my school now was the right choice. It felt like a no brainer.

Before arriving I even texted with my director's assistant.  She again said so many friendly things and made it seem like any concerns I had were nothing to be worried about.  Everything seemed well...and then I arrived.

I arrived for the quarantine and that was when everything changed.  From the moment I actually got to my quarantine house the way my bosses treated me was a complete 180.  During the quarantine all of the friendliness disappeared, to the point where I had to basically beg and send countless messages to my boss to even get food.  Nevertheless I still was hoping it would be positive like the interview.

Fast forward to my first day.  I finished quarantine at 12 noon, and my boss scheduled me to work at 1240.  I thought that was kind of harsh  but nevertheless, okay no problem.  I came to work for the first time excited to meet everyone, only to find my director and her assistant waiting for me with cold expressionless faces and a mountain of work to do.  There was no hello. No welcome to Korea.  Nothing.  Again, whatever I thought, okay I'll get started.

I was literally 'ordered' straight away to begin working and from that point on I have been working 12 hour days that are non stop.  I have given everything this past month to try to make it a positive experience.   I haven't complained and have been waking up at 7:30am and coming home at 9.  It is beyond exhausting.  My actual job hours say from 9am to 640pm which is already long, but I was ordered from the first day to come at 8:30 (non negotiable) and stay and finish all necessary work as well...and that is the next thing...

The extra necessary work...it is almost a quarter of the day's hours worth of stuff.  Both when I arrive and leave I have about an hour of reports to file, journals to grade, homework to input, and comments to write.  And when our monthly test comes around (it has once so far) I have to stay at the school until 9 or 10pm in order to finish everything. 

Basically to sum it it all up I am burning out even after a month.  I am busy from when I wake up at 730 until 8-9pm on average.  Eat, come home, sleep, and repeat.  Now don't get me wrong I don't mind hard work.  But my work place is so toxic it has been killing me mentally too.  There are no smiles.  No positive words said.  Literally I am ordered to do something and expected to just do it and I do.  And if I make one mistake, the assistant appears from nowhere and screams at me like I am a slave and not a person.  It is humiliating.

Anyway, the reason I have made this thread is because I have to leave this place.  It isn't even negotiable at this point.  It is just a matter of how.  I am hoping to stay in Korea as I love the country and have some friends here.  But I don't know what my options are. I don't have my ARC card yet and haven't even had my healthcheck done.  It seems like my boss doesn't care at all.  I mentioned it to her multiple times and still know nothing. 

So I am here for a month on an E2 and no ARC card yet.  Is it possible somehow to switch to a D10?  And if I try is there a way to do it before getting my first ARC? Or am I out of options until at least getting my first ARC?  The only plan I can think of after reading information online is to either try now and get a letter of release somehow and go straight to a D10.  Or, if that's not possible, then wait until I get the ARC card and then try and get the letter of release and leave.  That or...sadly...leave Korea.  Are these my only options, could either of them work?

If I have to wait until I have my ARC card, I am prepared to work the next 3 months or at least try.  But already I am dizzy almost daily from the exhaustion and haven't been sleeping well at all.  I am kind of worried about it...as it could get serious.  I hope not.

Any advice anyone has would be wholeheartedly welcome and I thank you so much.  Any questions feel free to ask and I'll include more details.  I am writing this while being exhausted beyond believe so I am not sure I have included everything.  I am American by the way and of course it is a Hagwon teaching job I am referring to.

All the best and thanks,

Brian

Your problem is there are too many foreigners here nowadays and many Koreans don't get wowed to see a foreigner anymore.  Hence the cold greeting and you are just another foreigner to come and go.  Now for all that work, I hope you are making over 3 million won a month, really.  Otherwise, you are getting ripped off.  If they are that bad, collect your next pay and that weekend head to the airport.  (They prob will make your life hell if you give them a notice.)   You will not get a D10.  You will have to go home and reapply once your year is up for Korea.  You can also apply to China and other countries.  Plenty of schools there with better pay. 

The assistant screams at you?  That's verbal abuse.  The first time it happens you give them a warning never to do that again and scream back.  If they do it again, you tell them to speak to you politely and you walk out on them and tell them the next time you quit.  If they gave you the wrong information and somehow it's your fault and not theirs well that is unacceptable.  A lot of Korean employers are dicks because we aren't as rare as we use to be.  The welcome mat is no longer rolled out.  (Please tell me you didn't pay your own quarantine.  You made them pay for it right?) 


  • SPQR
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1010

    • March 08, 2018, 07:04:54 pm
    • Sierra Leone
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 11:08:52 am »
To reiterate. Leave as soon as possible. Giving notice will also give the school time
to devise some new ways to screw you over. I would leave as soon as I got paid for any
work completed.


  • VanIslander
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 2872

    • June 02, 2011, 10:12:19 am
    • Seogwipo, Jeju Island
    more
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 11:47:47 am »
Run!


  • OnNut81
  • The Legend

    • 2669

    • April 01, 2011, 03:01:41 pm
    • Anyang
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 11:51:22 am »
Do they have you over a barrel in regards to you needing the next paycheque or not having a place to stay?  If you have some funds and a friend willing to put you up quietly, move and phone them up and tell them you're no longer coming in and why.  Living in their accommodation gives them a huge amount of leverage.  Obviously, the less you need them the less power they have.  Unfortunately, as mentioned, they don't sound like the kind of people that would willingly give you a letter of release.  Be prepared that they may be able to prevent you getting another E2 for the remainder of the working period.  You don't even have your ARC yet, so I don't think you can file a complaint with the MOEL, but I don't know enough to say.  Anyways, get away from there.  Having you work everyday outside of the agreed upon work hours is unacceptable.  And if you move to a friend's place, don't tell them where you are or who your friend is.  They may cajole and threaten but they know they've lost leverage.

Good luck, and I apologize for our resident "Sky is falling" poster Hangook for selfishly and inconsiderately trying to use your unfortunate circumstance by trying to bring up his "better jobs in China" crusade, and only attempting to make matters seem worse, instead of offering any helpful advice. I hoped he wasn't going to do that, but he gets a free toaster if he brings it up a million times before December 31st.  Clock is ticking. 


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2021, 12:47:13 pm »
Get your passport, go to immi and cancel the entire process. Then find another
job while you are on a D10. (If that is possible.) Anyway, immi isn't as mean and
callous as they used to be. Explain your situation and get some possible courses
of action.

Stop working at that school now. How are your savings?

My colleague told me yesterday that because I don't have my ARC yet I can find another school to sponsor my E2 and get me an ARC with them.  Is this really possible?  If I found another job right now could I really just switch to that job and go to immigration to get an ARC with my new school?  Or would I have to switch to a D10 first?  From what I have found out if I plan to get a D10 I need my ARC :(


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2021, 12:52:29 pm »
I don't think you can switch to a D-10 without a Letter of Release (LOR). Your school can choose whether to give you one or not, and from how you've described them I doubt they would to be honest.
I wouldn't stay there any longer, especially given the toll it's taking on you. I don't think things will improve for you. Maybe others can correct me, but I don't believe you can change your visa or switch jobs without the LOR, and if you quit without one your E-2 visa will be terminated.

TBH the advice I would give is to go home, either after giving the 30 days notice or just leave now without notifying them (have you even been paid yet?). Once your current E-2 visa period ends, you can apply again for a different job (so next October?)

I have a meeting with my boss's assistant on Monday.  Basically here is the update.  On friday we got in a verbal spat because she shouted at me in the morning and I said to her "that is rude, you can ask me nicely and say please if you want me to do something" and she went nuts.  She told me my attitude is unacceptable and that we need to have a meeting.  I agreed we need to have a meeting.  Then after that she sent me a text message while at work saying she wanted to meet during one of my 5 minute breaks...I told her no it's not possible because I have to go to the next class and prepare for the lesson which is true...there was literally no time.  Then she sent me another nasty text message saying it is clear I don't want to talk to her and that I should give her my letter of resignation if I don't want to work at the school.  After work I went to her office and asked to meet but she said she was busy and that we will meet on Monday.

So on Monday I am not sure what to do.  I think I am going to try and make a deal with her to get the LOR.  Im not sure what that will entail but if she wants me gone anyway then maybe there is a way.  The one advantage I have going for me is my work ethic has been outstanding since I started.  No one there can say I haven't worked above and beyond.  So I don't see how she could fire me when I have literally worked my soul away in only one month.

Any ideas for the meeting on Monday let me know.  All the best.

With hagwons, don't trust anything if it isn't in writing. Maybe try for a public school next time, they are much more consistent.


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2021, 12:54:14 pm »
To reiterate. Leave as soon as possible. Giving notice will also give the school time
to devise some new ways to screw you over. I would leave as soon as I got paid for any
work completed.

The problem is I have worked for a month and haven't been paid.  I need that money...it has been a tough year and they owe me at least 2,000 dollars now...so I don't want to leave without my 2000 dollars that I have rightfully earned.  I am gonna hold out for that at least.  I have no choice or I can't afford a plane ticket anyway or any visa changing fees if I am allowed to stay in Korea.  I basically have no money left sadly I spent it all to come here :( 

I am supposed to be paid on the 9th of December so about 2 more weeks of this it seems at least.

I have a meeting with my boss's assistant on Monday as we got in a verbal spat on Friday over her yelling at me.  She somehow turned her yelling at me and not saying please into me having an attitude problem...anyway on Monday we are gonna talk before work.  I assume she chose Monday because she doesn't want me to run this weekend.  Oh well.  So on Monday I am gonna try and make a deal for the LOR.  It might fail of course, and if it does I guess it's either leave Korea or fight them somehow and hope immigration can help me switch visas another way?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 12:56:00 pm by bbok23 »


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2021, 01:00:49 pm »
Do they have you over a barrel in regards to you needing the next paycheque or not having a place to stay?  If you have some funds and a friend willing to put you up quietly, move and phone them up and tell them you're no longer coming in and why.  Living in their accommodation gives them a huge amount of leverage.  Obviously, the less you need them the less power they have.  Unfortunately, as mentioned, they don't sound like the kind of people that would willingly give you a letter of release.  Be prepared that they may be able to prevent you getting another E2 for the remainder of the working period.  You don't even have your ARC yet, so I don't think you can file a complaint with the MOEL, but I don't know enough to say.  Anyways, get away from there.  Having you work everyday outside of the agreed upon work hours is unacceptable.  And if you move to a friend's place, don't tell them where you are or who your friend is.  They may cajole and threaten but they know they've lost leverage.

Good luck, and I apologize for our resident "Sky is falling" poster Hangook for selfishly and inconsiderately trying to use your unfortunate circumstance by trying to bring up his "better jobs in China" crusade, and only attempting to make matters seem worse, instead of offering any helpful advice. I hoped he wasn't going to do that, but he gets a free toaster if he brings it up a million times before December 31st.  Clock is ticking.

Your idea to move in with a friend is really good.  But I don't have any friends to stay with or funds to pay for a new place so I am stuck here for now.  I am having a meeting with my boss's assistant on Monday and I guess I am going to try and negotiate a letter of release or some sort of deal where I can leave the school.  If it doesn't work well then dang...I guess I'll evaluate my options after that which seem to be only fighting them the legal way or packing it up and leaving.  I don't really know what else to do.


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2021, 01:20:04 pm »
Your problem is there are too many foreigners here nowadays and many Koreans don't get wowed to see a foreigner anymore.  Hence the cold greeting and you are just another foreigner to come and go.  Now for all that work, I hope you are making over 3 million won a month, really.  Otherwise, you are getting ripped off.  If they are that bad, collect your next pay and that weekend head to the airport.  (They prob will make your life hell if you give them a notice.)   You will not get a D10.  You will have to go home and reapply once your year is up for Korea.  You can also apply to China and other countries.  Plenty of schools there with better pay. 

The assistant screams at you?  That's verbal abuse.  The first time it happens you give them a warning never to do that again and scream back.  If they do it again, you tell them to speak to you politely and you walk out on them and tell them the next time you quit.  If they gave you the wrong information and somehow it's your fault and not theirs well that is unacceptable.  A lot of Korean employers are dicks because we aren't as rare as we use to be.  The welcome mat is no longer rolled out.  (Please tell me you didn't pay your own quarantine.  You made them pay for it right?)

I confronted the assistant on Friday like you said and she got furious and said I have a massive attitude problem and now we have a meeting scheduled for Monday morning.  I am currently thinking how to go about the meeting.


Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2021, 04:44:20 pm »
You need some tough love...

Grow a backbone. You allowed another grown adult to yell at you. You gotta nip that  kind of thing in the bud immediately. You have signed to them that you are a human doormat. You just went along with letting them make the contract as they go and adjust the working hours and you just went along... Again you are telegraping weakness somewhere. SNIP when needed but at some point you have to stand your ground. At this point they are going to tell you to work 7 days a week and you will comply.


  • T_Rex
  • Super Waygook

    • 253

    • April 23, 2019, 08:10:20 am
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2021, 11:06:44 pm »
You need some tough love...

Grow a backbone. You allowed another grown adult to yell at you. You gotta nip that  kind of thing in the bud immediately. You have signed to them that you are a human doormat. You just went along with letting them make the contract as they go and adjust the working hours and you just went along... Again you are telegraping weakness somewhere. SNIP when needed but at some point you have to stand your ground. At this point they are going to tell you to work 7 days a week and you will comply.
This is or just leave Korea.

Also, I think the fact that your hagwon has made no effort to get you an ARC during your first six weeks in Korea is a possible red flag. Your work visa will automatically be invalidated at the 90-day mark without one. The hagwon could decide to fire you at that point and not pay you. You wouldn't have much recourse because of your illegal status.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2021, 11:36:39 pm by T_Rex »


  • bbok23
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • November 25, 2021, 04:42:40 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2021, 01:14:01 am »
This is or just leave Korea.

Also, I think the fact that your hagwon has made no effort to get you an ARC during your first six weeks in Korea is a possible red flag. Your work visa will automatically be invalidated at the 90-day mark without one. The hagwon could decide to fire you at that point and not pay you. You wouldn't have much recourse because of your illegal status.

So on Monday I will try and figure out the ARC situation.  If they still won't give me any information on making my ARC what should I do? Are there any options?


Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2021, 08:03:56 am »
Gtfoh! Get your pay and get on a flight.  Better hurry before there’s another lockdown due to the new variant. Good luck


Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2021, 03:34:41 pm »
Things will get better soon. I'm sure that your Korean bosses and co-workers will soon do some self-reflection, realize they are treating you poorly, and make amends. They will apologize, naturally, because Koreans are known to apologize to foreigners when they have acted rudely. After the apology, it seems likely that they will bow (all the way to the ground, no doubt), turn, pick up a piece of kimchi, and throw it in the trash. The symbolism needs no explanation.

Yup, give it one more month and you'll be treated with the respect you deserve. I'm sure this behavior won't continue for much longer, much less get significantly worse throughout your time there. No way.
Join the WhenInRome Fan Club!
Shout out to Mr. DeMartino... the first member. Thank you my son! ;)


Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2021, 06:45:35 pm »
What a mess. I'm sorry that you've found yourself here.

As others have said, you could leave, wait a year, and try again once your current visa has expired.

But another possibility would be to contact MOEL about all of the things your employer is obligated to fulfill but has not. Making you work more than your stated contract hours without compensation is a breach. Basically any violation of labor law is a breach. This could be enough to get MOEL in your corner and allow you to get a D-10 visa without a letter of release from your employer so that you can find a new job without having to leave the country. But that's an avenue that you'll need to explore by talking to someone with more legal expertise here. My advice would be to seek consultation from one of the FB legal groups and/or the Seoul Global Center first, but you should also contact MOEL after the fact to see what they have to say about it, too. Like OnNut81, I don't know if the fact that you haven't received your ARC yet will impede the process for you at all, but you've got nothing to lose by trying.

In any case, be prepared to do a midnight run. You also need to be prepared to report your employer to the MOEL if they try to do anything like withhold your pay. Don't let them get away with any excuses for paying you late or not at all. Just document everything, save emails and texts, and report them as soon as they do anything you know is actually illegal. This will increase your chances of getting a D-10 from MOEL. Also, find out whether or not they have you registered properly and not as a IC. You can contact the pension office to see if any payments have been made. If not, they probably got you registered as an IC, and that could also be enough to get you a D-10 from MOEL. Just something else to look at.

Good luck.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 07:01:19 pm by Chinguetti »


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 4574

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2021, 08:33:06 am »
Do they have you over a barrel in regards to you needing the next paycheque or not having a place to stay?  If you have some funds and a friend willing to put you up quietly, move and phone them up and tell them you're no longer coming in and why.  Living in their accommodation gives them a huge amount of leverage.  Obviously, the less you need them the less power they have.  Unfortunately, as mentioned, they don't sound like the kind of people that would willingly give you a letter of release.  Be prepared that they may be able to prevent you getting another E2 for the remainder of the working period.  You don't even have your ARC yet, so I don't think you can file a complaint with the MOEL, but I don't know enough to say.  Anyways, get away from there.  Having you work everyday outside of the agreed upon work hours is unacceptable.  And if you move to a friend's place, don't tell them where you are or who your friend is.  They may cajole and threaten but they know they've lost leverage.

Good luck, and I apologize for our resident "Sky is falling" poster Hangook for selfishly and inconsiderately trying to use your unfortunate circumstance by trying to bring up his "better jobs in China" crusade, and only attempting to make matters seem worse, instead of offering any helpful advice. I hoped he wasn't going to do that, but he gets a free toaster if he brings it up a million times before December 31st.  Clock is ticking. 

I apologize for out nutty resident troll who constantly needs to bash anything that is not Korea related.

Either way, your employer's a dick.  They hold your visa.  You must wait out the year for it to expire if you quit.  They aren't giving a letter of release.  Hence, I said, go to China where you can work right away and get paid more too. 


  • waygo0k
  • The Legend

    • 4539

    • September 27, 2011, 11:51:01 am
    • Chungnam
Re: What are my options? Need help, just walked into a nightmare job...
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2021, 10:35:29 am »
For starters OP, they are breaking the law by having you work so many unpaid OT hours, so you have a legal case here as long as you can document it as proof for immigration when applying for a D-10 sans letter of release.

Next, you need to get on your boss(es) as to why they haven't gotten your visa (insurance, pension etc) sorted out after all this time. If the authorities come calling because of you not being registered...you will be on the hook more than your employers!

Which brings me to my final point...As someone said earlier, you need to grow a pair (and or a backbone). Your boss(es) behave the way they do because they want you to blink first whenever potential for conflict presents itself. Learn to say no, learn to stand up for yourself, and learn to demand what you are entitled to according to the law. Familiarise yourself with Korean Labour Law (PALS and LOFT groups on facebook are useful avenues). If you can't do any of these, I'm afraid you'll keep running into the same type of employer in Korea...they can smell weakness from miles away and will do everything they can to exploit you.