So this part probably sounds familiar; I arrived in Taiwan in January this year, started up with a chain school and found myself hating it. However I had agreed to a contract that stipulated a security deposit, and on a side note endured a contract-signing meeting where my employer spent the better part of an hour painting a picture of the hell I’d be in if I quit the contract (I was fresh off the boat and desperate for a job, so the alarms bells went unnoticed).
After speaking to others and consulting the articles on Tealit (www.tealit.com/fines.deposits.main.htm), I was inspired to shop for another job under their radar, and once having secured a new ARC, gave my required two weeks notice. However I was threatened with being blacklisted, deported and never seeing my money if I went through with my decision. Thankfully I stuck to my guns but now they are sitting with my deposit money and while some may regard it as a paltry sum to pay for freedom, I fully intend to get it back. A friend found an incredibly useful lady at the Department of Labour who looks after foreigner’s concerns and she was of the opinion that I had a good case for an arbitration hearing (my contract had no rules regarding leaving, and as I understand the illegal nature of the deposit voids it as a penalty).
However said friend did make the point (and it was clearly intimated to him) that she was a labour inspector and therefore did have the power to deport me for working illegally (‘officially’ I never worked kindergarden - you know this story). What I’m worried about is going to an arbitration hearing with all my paperwork clearly showing that they are holding my money, but getting burned when the ‘unofficial’ side of the story comes to light. I probably should mention that I’m still ‘officially’ not working kindergarden.
If anyone has experience of going to one of these arbitration hearings under similiar conditions I would love to hear your input. Any other advice is more than welcome.