About to enter negotiation and have questions

I am about to engage in a negotiation with my former employer (a private high school in Wurih township) at the county government office in Fongyuan. I have a few questions regarding this.

  1. I have been told that I need a Mandarin translator at the meeting. However, the woman handling my case speaks English, the principal of the school speaks English as well as my two supervisors. Is there a legal requirement that this all be done in Mandarin?

  2. One of the issue is negotiating tactics. Is a “bonus” legally part of salary? I was initially offerred an annual salary of NT$1 million, but then after I accepted the job offer, they put a 13th bonus month in the salary provision of the contract. I didn’t like it, but at this point I had little real choice because the other job offer I had that was good was gone at that point. I feel that this is deceptive, and it would be in the US, but I don’t know what the law is in Taiwan.

  3. After they cancelled my contract, I was not permitted to re-enter the campus until the following Tuesday to retrieve my belongings. However, by that time, my belongings had been taken out of my desk and shelves and placed in a big box. Other belongings of mine had been moved elsewhere and even to another office. At least three of my file folders had their contents removed. Do I have any legal recourse for this?

  4. A month or so earlier, I had to pay cash to my supervisor to pay for a subsititute. I had an adenovirus and was forced to miss a Saturday class. Despite this, they paid the wage for the overtime hours into my bank account. She forced me to re-imburse her for this in cash to pay the teacher. I have written evidence for this.

  5. For several months last year, I was told that I was required to join the school (unpaid) on a trip to the Los Angeles area. I didn’t want to go, but after three months of being told this, I asked the principal at a meeting in which this was brought up if I could go on to visit my family in the Boston area when the school group returned to Taiwan. He said yes. I purchased a ticket from LA to Boston. About two or three weeks later, the school informed me that I would not be going on the trip after all. Of course, the ticket is non-refundable.

  6. I was the victim of assault where four or five staff members physically restrained me and dragged me a few meters away from the principal’s office when I was having a verbal argument with one of my surpervisors. (this occurred on the last day I was at the school.) I have reported this to the local police and I am aware of my right to press charges against the school. However, the school has not been forthcoming on providing the names of the people involved in the assault.

  7. I was repeatedly verbally accousted by both of my supervisors through the school year, including at least twice in front of students. One of the reasons cited for my dismissal was my attitude and dealings with my superiors causing distress (though there is no such provision for this in my contract.) However, their behavior was unconsionable and at times caused me a serious loss of standing among my students.

  8. I have recently read in here from Feiren that sick days must be paid at 50%. However, my contract required me to pay NT$650 for each hour I missed due to illness. This this legal?

  9. My last month’s pay was one-day-late. I know that doesn’t sound like much but it did cause me some headaches. Their reasoning for that was that I had not turned in my employee’s card and that it was being withheld until that was done. What is their legal responsibilities regarding late payment of salary?

  10. Frankly, I am not sad to have been discharged by the school, though the reality is that I gave a 30-day notice (as required by my contract) via email prior to a notice from them that my contract had been cancelled and I would like the mutuality of the termination of the contract to be recognized by them. I don’t think this will affect me significantly legally due to my status on a Joining Family visa and I am already back with a previous employer.

  11. I am also aware of a number of other violations of the law at the school - having teachers working months before receiving ARCs, having substitute and Saturday teachers who don’t have the school on their ARC, being registered to have foreign teachers in the afternoons and evenings, but having them teach in the mornings (I am the only one among them who had open work rights.) I know I could report them, but could it cause them real trouble or just a cursory visit?

There are a lot of legal issues here that I am somewhat or mostly in the dark about. I know some like Feiren and others are far more informed about legal issues than I am. I would appreciate any information and advice I can get.

i won’t comment on the rest of your post…but as far as #3 goes, i think 13 or 14 months (12 + 1 or 2 bonus) is standard for taiwanese salaries. however, i think most positions are negotiated for by monthly salary and not yearly salary. therefore, the 13th+ month(s) are actually seen as bonuses.

if they negotiated a yearly salary then divided that by 13, that would suck and i also would not be happy. no idea what the legalities of any of it is.

I think having a Mandarin translator would be a good idea - nice to know what they are all talking about, because they will surely not keep to English, especially since your relationships with the school supervisors are bad.