Schools reneging job offers

It is legal for a school to renege a job offer after the contract is signed and all the documents are already in Korea?

Legal or not, are you going

Legal or not, are you going to fly to Korea to try to win a court case against them in the Korean "justice" system?


It's the school's way of saying that they found someone local (no airfare) to take the job.

Yes, it is legal. By

Yes, it is legal.

By immigration law, either you or the employee can cancel the job at anytime up until you get your employment visa.

By labor law, the Labor Board can't/won't help an employee until they've worked for a minimum of 6 months. (There have been very very few exceptions to this, but none that relate to a job that hasn't yet begun).

There's nothing you can do in this case other than get all your documents again and start over with the job hunting.


6-month time line?

No, the labour bureau will help anyone who worked and is owed wages to get wages owed. More kinds of claims can be filed if one has worked over 3 months. The 6-month thing refers to the employers' obligations on other matters such as severance pay and contractual obligations.

One should also note that the size of the employer does matter. Employees at workplaces with fewer than 5 employees have fewer rights, and can only claim basic pay. But they can claim wages owed for base work hours.

Another matter in relation to timing is that certain kinds of claims such as wrongful dismissal must be claimed within 3 months of the last day on the job. However, other kinds of claims can be filed up to 3 years following the last day worked.

Then again, certain things particular to your contract and not covered by labour law must be handled through the courts for which payment of a fee and the support of a lawyer would be necessary, although the labour office has the filing forms and can point one in the right direction. You can file yourself, but at one stage the lawyer will be necessary. There are free legal services for foreigners. See the FREED site (, resources section, and for more details.


korean law

There are very few laws here protecting not only foreign workers, but all workers in general. There is nothing you can do-sadly. Luckily, if you want to call it that, there are many jobs here so I would not sweat this one. Probably a good thing actually in that would you really want to work at a place that has no integrity? That said, you will be hard pressed to find one here that has any. Good luck. And serisouly, litigation here for something like this could take over 2 years (if you had any legal ground to stand on but you do not) and in the end, the school pays a fine and you get nothing. A friend was owed money, went throught this very process and got zip. the school paid a fine toe the government and that was that. Korea may now be a developed country according to the UN but it is more like a third world country painted well with laws better suited for 1980 than 2010. Really messed up here in that sense.

Like you'd know

In essence, you would be foolish to go to any country and take on an, individuals you do not know. You do not know the country , the people , nor the laws. It would be highly unusual and arrogant to think you could win such a thing. It gives a me sense that you may be difficult to employ. That’s what another employer will think when you tell them you are suing the other company - right? Don’t be arrogant and don’t be proud. In reality, you have spent a little money so far getting documents you need. Are you really gonna sue for a 2,000 salary a month, give me a break, bull—it. You need to grow up, draw a line under this issue and move on. In my opinion, and I have been for a long, long , time-you will lose money, so far you have not. Coming here with a Superiority complex is not uncommon but will do you no favors. Come in peace, or leave in tears and rags. Mr. Vander enjoys giving the impression he is an expert, however he is not. I am no expert either, but I'll tell you my honest opinion, provide some common and not state things as fact. Personally, I’m not sure who is more the fantasist , you or him.

I don't know what's worse;

I don't know what's worse; coming here and discovering that you don't have a job or a school reneging on you while at home.

Waiting for them to return your documents, if they do at all, is at least another month turn around time for you.

Are they still requiring people to do interviews at consulars and that kind of nonsense? if you have friends here it might just be easier to show up and then job hunt. That way you could negotiate and get your travel flight paid day one.

Schools and hogwans are starving for people from what I hear. Good luck to you.

it's Korea

Sorry, but in Korea, the paperwork only works if it's in favor of the company. There are a few issues that are concrete and the school can get in trouble for, such as no taxes being paid or no apartment/loving conditions provided. But other than those concrete issues, the paperwork is worth nothing. It's a western custom to have a contract, not a Korean one. They are trying to adopt the western way of business, but they have neglected to follow the letter when it comes to contracts. Next time, try writing your own contract and negotiating it YOUR way, not the school's way. Maybe things will be better for you in the future. Also, if you're with EPIK, you can contact EPIK and they can argue your case for you to the school. That way you won't be too swamped. Cheers and best of luck!

I suggest you sign up for the

I suggest you sign up for the legal assurance program provided by Kangam law firm. It is the new program designed to protect foreign teachers who are getting screwed left and right in this country.

It's very affordable.

I think this Kangnam law

I think this Kangnam law office program is fine if you are under contract and working. It would be silly to think you could file a case against an employer you have never been employed with. What would be gained? 50-100% of your income of 0% ?   

Re: I think this Kangnam law

actually, if you sign a contract, you don't need to work to be considered employed. a contract is an expression of legal binding. just because you've worked for them doesn't give you anymore legal power. in fact, if you are a shitty teacher, it may work against you.

you can sue for a certain amount that would be considered a minimum according to the salary.



i'm pretty sure finding

i'm pretty sure finding another job isn't going to be too difficult.  as far as i know, send a recruiter your info and you should have job offers by the dozen...

Finding a job isn't a problem

Finding a job isn't a problem in Korea, finding a good job in Korea is what is making it difficult these days. They are getting fewer and fewer. Even the entry level jobs aren't sufficent in renumeration and conditions to attract those even in dire straits to come here and take the abuse of hogwans.  

I find it amazing that with record unemployment back home, the false recovery(rising GDP isn't a good thing when you are simply going further into personal debt and national to consume) that the hordes haven't come in droves.

I guess when the extended pogie checks do run out out so will people with degrees, it's that or sell weed. It's not like we have factories in the west for people to make things.


Angel??? I try and help the person and for some reason you take shots at me-even though we are saying the same thing? Kind of weird. And check your grammar bro. And I do not mean little typos. The actual grammar is terrible! Reading your post makes one wonder if you are even a foreigner. My bet is you are a Korean who dislikes foreigners as the comments you made regarding someone asking what they could do about their situation were very negative.

And to start by taking shots at me is baffling but whatever.Welcome back to bashing people on here I guess (you said you were done coming on here a while ago but...).

Good luck on your situation and to get back on point-there is nothing you can do. Better to just move on. If you want any specific info, email me directly. I will be happy to help. I have been here a long time and know more than Angel would like to give me credit for so ask away. Paul Robertson used to do work for foreigners on this site years ago (he is a lawyer) and he is a good friend of mine so when I mention things about the law they are not merely ignorant opinions. I am always willing to help out people here so fire away! Cheers and good luck!

I got the same thing from

I got the same thing from another member of the community when I commented on donkey chicken. He hadn't eaten it in years but alas he remembers it not being heavily battered. Incredible because that's exactly what FRIED chicken is in Korea. Whatever man.....argue just to read your own post. The sky is blue, no it isn't. Pay no mind Jay, some people are just angry.