Unfair termination of contract

I work for the Taiwan News
and have terminated my contract – giving sufficient notice. My last working day is the 19th June.

My problem is that I still have 11 days leave accrued – days that I have worked and therefore should be paid for.

My company said to me yesterday (Friday 8th) that I can stop work today (9th) but will only terminate my ARC on the 20th – effectively giving me my days off.

However, they have told me that if I work to the 19th, which I intend to do, I will forfeit these days. When I asked why, I was told that it is company policy to encourage workers to take their days leave. Encouragement is one thing, forcing is another.

Surely this is wrong. Is there any protection against this in the Labor Law? What are my legal options?

Richard Wasserfall

Richard, the situation is somewhat unclear. The newspaper will allow you to finish working earlier than planned and will terminate your ARC at a reasonable date, am I correct? What’s the problem? Are they attempting to withhold pay for holiday time you didn’t use but are entitled to and that you are entitled to be paid for?

hey, i might get a job with taiwan news, could you share your experiences there, whether or not you liked it? you can email, i think…or post it here.

Confucious, Yes, basically they are attempting to withold pay for holiday time that is counted as paid leave that I didn’t use but am entitled to be paid for.


Is Melvin Goo still the supervisor over there? If so he’s reasonable and I’d try speaking with him in private. I’m not certain whether the newspaper has the legal right to withold pay for unused vacation time, you may need to contact a lawyer to inquire. As I know it costs a minimum of NT $10,000 to bring a case to court in Taiwan, so the company may figure it’s not worth your time nor expense to fight over it. Rich, Best of luck. C

new development!

What about being fired under the table? I have been informed via unofficial channels that management no longer wishes me to work at the paper, which I guess is their right.

But, I have received no official notification. Neither have I been spoken to in person by my superior. I have just been told, once again, via unofficial channels, that this is a company decision, no paper work or anything.

Any suggestions about lawyers I can call to get some advice?


Rich, try contacting John P. Formichella, a legal consultant for the East West International Law Offices in Taipei:

Good luck. C

Sorted the problem out. I will resign as originally planned and they will pay me the days due me. Whether this decision was based no legal grounds or because of unofficial dialogue between various persons involved, I don’t know.

I went through the Labor Standards Law. It didn’t seem to state that a company can “ask” an employee to take days leave rather than paying out the amount due the employee. But then neither was my contract clear that they couldn’t – a case in point for a contract revision. Article 39 of the above law, however, does state that an employer has to pay the employee for holidays worked – a clause which would seem to provide a legal basis for any one facing the situation which I just have.

case closed


You are lucky that things have worked out for you at the Taiwan News to your satisfaction. You have few real rights to use to fight back, believe me.
To the person, or persons who want to work at the Taiwan News, I would say this: are you brain dead or have you never worked at a newspaper before?
Not only is the Taiwan News worse than it has been for years, it is questionable how long Mr. Gao will keep pouring money into it before pulling the plug. The managing editor was axed and not replaced (to save money) and so was the editor in chief and executive vice president (and not replaced to save money). I also heard that at least one other person who had been there for years was let go. Team this with the fact that at I-mei covenience stores, which are owned by the same person who is majority shareholder in the News, gives away the News free every day after 8pm.
Seriously, the News is a ghost ship and anyone still on board is adrift. Its quality is pathetic which anyone can see by reading any of their local copy. What do the copy editors do, one wonders?

Wolf, that’s pretty harsh. What if someone wants experience outside of teaching and lives nearby? I understand what you’re saying about the state of the paper, but someone from overseas could learn how to work with co-workers and supervisors from a different country. In addition, there are still talented writers working at the Taiwan News, such as Gavin Phipps, who impresses with his knowledge of the entertainment industry. Glad Rich’s situation worked out. Cheers, C

Getting along with people is not the prime function of a job at a newspaper any more that it is the function of being incarcerated.
Gavin, by the way, no longer works for the Taiwan News and yes, he is a good worker who stayed at that sink hole far longer than I would have expected, but I am sure he had his reasons.
Getting entry-level experience at a newspaper is one thing, trying to learn from what is happening at the Taiwan News is another. Let’s hear from some Taiwan News insiders about what a slick publication it is.