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How to Legally Hammer your Hagwon Boss Into Submission
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Tokki1



Joined: 14 May 2007
Location: The gap between the Korean superiority and inferiority complex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please.

I've been here 8 years and seen every f'ing scam in the book in hakwon hell.

When I left my former hakwon two years ago, my boss (snake) owed me months in wages. I simply threatened to sue and we agreed to make a trade.

He gave my my 2-bedroom apt (key money) in lieu of pay. Fine with me! Offer for a public school job came the next day and I've never looked back.

I'm posting in this thread for a friend, however, who does not have a Dave's account and is one of those 'worst case scenario' jams.

Boss owes him 2 months' pay. Apartment provided by the school. 1 foreign teacher. About 30 students. Obviously in dire straits. Now from personal experience, I know that if he goes in with guns blazing she can play hardball. It's happened to me.

'Oh I'll make up a story' or blah blah blah.

So what, then? She owes him thousands. Why even show up? It's not a Russian logging camp. When you're broke and 2 months behind in pay, the prospect of having to get fired/terminated, get the letter of release and go through the bs of having to leave, return and run the gauntlet of red paper to get another job is surely overwhelming.

So what advice do I give this guy? Contact the number the op suggests? Kiss his money goodbye? Try to negotiate a deal? Threaten? The place obviously pays no taxes and is completely illegal.

God...brings back memories and I HATE seeing people in this position.

If you are seriously considering working for a hakwon, especially with the economy in its current state, think twice.

Any advice for this guy would be appreciated. Send me a pm or reply here. I'm telling to just hang on and hope she can pay him something...but it's looking like a ship that's sailed, burned and sunk.

It's time for damage control imo. Thoughts?
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Straphanger



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Location: Chilgok, Korea

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tokki1 wrote:
So what advice do I give this guy? Contact the number the op suggests? Kiss his money goodbye? Try to negotiate a deal? Threaten?

Has he tried contacting ATEK? I'm looking for an ATEK success story, I really hope they can do it.
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Tokki1



Joined: 14 May 2007
Location: The gap between the Korean superiority and inferiority complex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He hasn't done anything yet.

When I used to run into these sorts of problems in the past all we had was YSTek (You're Screwed).

I'll get him to look into every option but it's not looking good.

Which is why so many of these threads are stickied. Seriously. Buyer beware. So many of us have gone through this. Why do people continue to fall into these evil traps.
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last goodbye



Joined: 13 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just went to the labor board because I was unjustly fired- and my ex-boss had to pay me a month's wages (and has paid). I was told there that if I wanted more, i'd have to sue, which would take too long and just be a pain- I was only off work 2 weeks before getting another job, so a month's pay was fine. The reason he paid so fast is because his business is not going under and he doesn't want a blemish on his record.

Now, for your friend, it is kinda tricky as the hogwon's in bad shape. I would still suggest he go to the labor board, or at least call the labor hotline (on his cell) @ 1350 (then 7 for English). They speak Eng. well and can direct him further. Immi hotline is (on a cell) 1345 (I think Eng. is 3).

I was also lucky to be able to get a release letter- I worked an after school program, so the school wasn't the problem, it was the company. I went to the school and had no probs. There is always an exit order which you can get from immigration, which will cancel his contract- but he would have to leave and come back- I never got the lowdown on that as I was able to get the release letter.
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Tokki1



Joined: 14 May 2007
Location: The gap between the Korean superiority and inferiority complex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

last goodbye wrote:
I just went to the labor board because I was unjustly fired- and my ex-boss had to pay me a month's wages (and has paid). I was told there that if I wanted more, i'd have to sue, which would take too long and just be a pain- I was only off work 2 weeks before getting another job, so a month's pay was fine. The reason he paid so fast is because his business is not going under and he doesn't want a blemish on his record.

Now, for your friend, it is kinda tricky as the hogwon's in bad shape. I would still suggest he go to the labor board, or at least call the labor hotline (on his cell) @ 1350 (then 7 for English). They speak Eng. well and can direct him further. Immi hotline is (on a cell) 1345 (I think Eng. is 3).

I was also lucky to be able to get a release letter- I worked an after school program, so the school wasn't the problem, it was the company. I went to the school and had no probs. There is always an exit order which you can get from immigration, which will cancel his contract- but he would have to leave and come back- I never got the lowdown on that as I was able to get the release letter.


Yeah I forget the details on the release letter. Isn't it mandatory that an employer give you the letter? (Or you're technically still employed by them?) Meaning you could (lol) just keep going to work? Call the cops, ask them why your employer won't let you in the building? Heh...

OR, would he have to wait until his contract expires to get another E-2.

Heh...oh how I miss working for hakwons. Shocked
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last goodbye



Joined: 13 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, they don't have to give it to you. I asked a lawyer about it. My last boss was only willing to give it to me if I didn't complain about being fired with no notice or compensation. Luckily, they didn't hold my visa!!
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Tokki1



Joined: 14 May 2007
Location: The gap between the Korean superiority and inferiority complex

PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

last goodbye wrote:
No, they don't have to give it to you. I asked a lawyer about it. My last boss was only willing to give it to me if I didn't complain about being fired with no notice or compensation. Luckily, they didn't hold my visa!!


If they don't release you from the contract technically you're still employed and they're still sponsoring you. Correct? And if they say they've terminated you, well, you can just go to immigration and demand the letter.

That's my understanding of the 'letter of release'.

If the contract is 'broken' surely you are 'released' from it?
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last goodbye



Joined: 13 Aug 2006

PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible to nail a boss who tries to screw you!- if you know what to do.

I posted a lot while it was goin on, but it's finished now.

I got canned from my job on March 12th for "not wanting to sign another contract (one that was never even offered, but requested by me)" So, I emailed them and told them they were breaking the law. (I turned my phone off the whole time, so they'd have to email me and I would have a record of everything- they were notorious liars). I said I would leave if they gave me 10/12th of my (1 million) severance- which I found out is against the law- it has to be equal to a month's pay). My boss said "no," so I called the labor hotline (1350- on a cell phone, then 7 for Eng), then went to file a petition at the labor board.

2 weeks later we had our meeting. I was told to write-up a statement and get and "evidence" I had and translate it into Korean. I did this- took lotsa time. I didn't even need it. When we went to the labor board, they just asked my Korean friend (you need an interpreter) what happened and why I was there. Since it was pretty obvious that they were in the bad, it was pretty painless. They didn't give me 30-days, so I had 2 choices- take a month's pay there and then (which they'd have 1 month to pay) or sue them for more. I already had a job lined-up and had only been off work 2 weeks. So, I took the 1 month's pay. I have already been paid (most of it). They kept 1 day's pay saying I owed it to them, so I have told the labor board they still owe me some. If they don't pay by the end of that period, then I'd've had to sue and they'd've gotten some "blemish" on their record. If they are "reputable" and business is going well they don't want this (as the lady at the Labor board said). So, I only asked for 850K and got 2.25 mil.- that's poetic justice! (Was fun to remind them of this too).

Anyhow, the labor board route does seem to work and quickly.

Before I went to the L. board, I went to see a labor lawyer at the Gangnam Law Firm (the # is in the sticky "How to Hammer Your Hogwon into Submission") and asked him questions for 30 mins for 30K (50K/1 hr.) It was a bargain. He told me I should ask to stay at my job to add leverage to my case, but I figured that would "let them off easy" and then I got another job, so no way. He also told me that "hogwons" have made such a bad name for themselves by flagrantly violating the labor laws that teachers have a lot more leverage these days. It's worth seeing him- he will tell you whether or not he thinks you can win- He told me I should (for sure). Even the guy at at the labor hotline said I would get a month's pay as soon as I told him what happened.

I also found out that if I would have sued and not been able to work (until my E-2 expired- unless I could get a release letter) that I coulda gotten a special visa that would allow me to stay for legal issues- a G-1 I think, or G-3.

As far as getting a release letter, I was lucky to have worked for an after school program- so the company didn't hold my E-2, the school did. So, I went to the school and got the letter no problem, then transferred to the new school. The old company tried to stop things, but it was too late- and they had no control over the visa anyhow.



I found some useful info here:

"How to Hammer your Hogwon Boss..." sticky: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?t=119477

http://atek.or.kr/

http://www.efl-law.com/contracts.php

http://www.ilo.org/dyn/natlex/docs/WEBTEXT/46401/65062/E97KOR01.htm#a1

http://www.asia-pacific-connections.com/korean_gov't_agencies.html

http://www.korea4expats.com/article-labor-board-commission.html


Also: the Immigration hotline # is (on a cell) 1345 (then 3 for Eng)


Who knows: How far can I go with respect to posting info about that company I worked for before they could screw me for it? I'd like to post something here. I can't imagine that could pose a problem, but ya never know.
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deadhead09



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Location: hwagok

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: possible school closing Reply with quote

someone please give me some advice. not sure where to go for help. my hakwon boss has never paid me on time. she is paying me the proper salary but always late. she is not adhering to the contract. she is giving me more working hours than were agreed upon. i am afraid that my school is going bankrupt and i will lose all of my unpaid salary; at this point the previous two months' have not been paid. (will immigration be of any help? labor board?)
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Straphanger



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Location: Chilgok, Korea

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:14 pm    Post subject: Re: possible school closing Reply with quote

deadhead09 wrote:
someone please give me some advice. not sure where to go for help. my hakwon boss has never paid me on time. she is paying me the proper salary but always late. she is not adhering to the contract. she is giving me more working hours than were agreed upon. i am afraid that my school is going bankrupt and i will lose all of my unpaid salary; at this point the previous two months' have not been paid. (will immigration be of any help? labor board?)

You've been working for free for two months?
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deadhead09



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Location: hwagok

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

something like that... was supposed to be paid for march the middle of this month have yet to see that money. payment for april supposed to arrive in two weeks. just trying to figure the best way out of this situation without losing my money and maintaining my visa. currently looking for other jobs. any ideas, thoughts, etc would be appreciated. owner of hagwon looks like a snake to me. i need to start protecting myself now.
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deadhead09



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Location: hwagok

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

two questions: is there any truth to the rumor i heard that it is law for all hakwon employees to have three weeks vacation?
also i am trying to change jobs... my snake boss is attempting something along the lines of blackmail. i told her i was leaving. she has no money and is selling the school. she essentially told me that if i want a letter of release from her that i have to stick around until she is able to sell the school. that could be in three weeks or eight weeks. no telling. but she has run the business in a bad way couldnt even keep the school open a year. i have no faith in her to sell the school in a timely manner. any advice would be appreciated.
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Tobias



Joined: 02 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn, Dead. I feel for you. You're working for free, and here I am lounging and getting paid...sort of. See, I left a chunk of change in Korea when it was at 1600 per dollar and about 47 per baht. Now the won is at about 1250 per dollar and about 36 per baht. When I go to the bank and withdraw baht, my balance is actually a little higher than when I made a (moderate) withdrawal the week before (using my Korean ATM card).

I hope it works out for you and you get paid.
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Young FRANKenstein



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Location: Castle Frankenstein (that's FRONKensteen)

PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deadhead09 wrote:
is there any truth to the rumor i heard that it is law for all hakwon employees to have three weeks vacation?

It is labor law that requires all employees (not just hagwons and not just waegukins) to be given 15 days of paid vacation.
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deadhead09



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Location: hwagok

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Young FRANKenstein"
It is labor law that requires all employees (not just hagwons and not just waegukins) to be given 15 days of paid vacation.

so to get it right then it is law for ALL employees to be given 15 days paid vacation and this excludes saturday/sunday?
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