Will I go to jail if I breached a part-time teaching contract?

Thanks, @Marco ! I hope you don’t mind but can you send me a private message? I think I can’t send messages yet since I’m a new member.

Upgraded you. You can now send PMs.

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That right there is proof they don’t expect to get away with it. I mean, not legal proof, but all the proof you need. :2cents:

No, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen it.

I don’t think so, technically speaking. Oral contracts are valid (with some exceptions), so it doesn’t make sense for a written contract to become invalid as soon as the paper leaves your hands.

The name varies by city/county, usually 勞動局 or 勞工局, and in English usually Department of Labor or Department of Labor Affairs. The Ministry of Labor is the 勞動部 (formerly the CLA, 勞工委員會).

From a legal perspective, I wouldn’t rule it out – if the contract per se is valid, but the breach penalty is excessive (which it is for a job like this, unless we’re talking about $10,000 per lesson or something), Civil Code Art. 252 applies:

From a practical perspective, the amount they could get would be little more than, or possibly less than, what they would spend on a lawyer (for which they would not be awarded anything extra – just the reduced breach penalty and a refund of the court fee).

The key here though, @StrugglingStudent, is that it’s a civil matter, not a criminal matter, so it’s not for the police to deal with.

You may have a legally valid reason to terminate the contract without even knowing it. In addition to talking to the labor department, I suggest you search for previous discussions about contract termination. In general, the more recent they are, the more useful they are (some laws are different now compared to the 2000’s, and some misconceptions have sort of been cleared up).

As always, when in doubt, ask a lawyer.

@tando I’ll follow your advice and go to the labor affairs bureau here in KHH today. but in case I couldn’t find someone who can help me there, I’m planning to tell the employer about my decision today as well since the training schedule has been moved to tomorrow but I no longer want to go. Will it matter significantly if the employer knows first before the labor bureau?

And once I’m at the bureau, how do I start explaining what I need, who to talk to, and explaining what happened? My Mandarin is bad.

@yyy it is this one (勞動局) here in KHH. Thanks for the advice! I’ve also found a similar case here but it was a long time ago (2007) when it was still the CLA, which is why I started a new thread. The two parties settled with 25% of the 15,000 NTD penalty. It was also a cram school and they requested secrecy of what happened, which the teacher did not agree to.

In my case, there was a clause in the contract that I shouldn’t pursue legal action against the company. Does this have any bearing?

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My Lawyer if needed. Good guy. Helped me win a different case. Tell him Marco sent you.


Illegal clause is invalid.

Just don’t sign anything you don’t understand and don’t pay the fine.


Labor Standards Act

Article 14

A worker may terminate a labor contract without giving advance notice to the employer in any of the following situations:

  1. Where an employer misrepresents any fact at the time of signing a labor contract in a manner which might mislead his/her worker and thus caused him/her to sustain damage therefrom.
  2. Where an employer, his/her family member or his/ her agent commits violence or grossly insults the worker.
  3. Where the work specified in a labor contract is likely to be injurious to the worker’s health and the worker has requested his/her employer to improve working conditions but all in vain.
  4. The employer, the agent of the employer, or co-worker suffers from a noted contagious disease that may infect employees working with the infected person and seriously endanger their health.
  5. Where an employer fails to pay for work in accordance with the labor contract or to give sufficient work to a worker who is paid on a piecework basis.
  6. Where an employer breaches a labor contract or violates any labor statute or administrative regulation in a manner likely to adversely affect the rights and interests of the particular worker.
    If an employee intends to terminate the contract in accordance with Subparagraph 1 or 6 of the preceding Paragraph, he or she shall do so within 30 days of the date the employee became knowledgeable of the situation. However, the employee shall do so within 30 days of the date of the employee knowing the result of damages in the event the employer falls under any of the circumstances specified in Subparagraph 6.
    An employee shall not terminate the contract under any of the circumstances specified in Subparagraph 2 or 4 of Paragraph 1 if the employer has terminated an agency contract, or if the party suffering from a noted contagious disease has received treatment in accordance with health regulations.
    The provisions of Article 17 shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to the termination of labor contract pursuant to this article.

@Marco @tando


I went to the labor bureau and discussed my problem. They said they can’t help much because i already signed (agreed to) the contract and i don’t have a copy to show to the bureau. So they told me to tell the company and depending on the outcome, we may need to mediate or go to court. :frowning:

What should i tell the company if they want me to pay the penalty?

Then, you may want to get some advice/help from a lawyer. Marco recommended you his, and you could get some legal counseling from LAF for free.
There was a case that local labor department was useless and a poster was mostly helped by LAF, iirc.



Thanks for this, @tando

would you suggest i contact LAF first before informing the company of my decision? i hope the company would understand after i tell them and just let me leave without problems. i hope.

consulting with a lawyer would be my last option if the company insists that i’ll pay. because as i am right now, i may not be able to afford a lawyer.

as I posted, LAF’s legal counseling/advice is for free. If you actually need a lawyer to handle something like making a document or taking court action, there is a chance you could get a discount depending on your financial situation.

If possible, I’d contact to LAF before talking to employer, to know if there are any flaw in the contract/situation.


A post was merged into an existing topic: bad advice

The short answer is no, it’s just a scare tactic.

For a proper answer, of course, you need proper legal advice (and ideally a copy of the contract).


I wasn’t able to get free legal advice at the moment due to the level 3 restrictions, fewer people at work, etc. So I told the one who supervises me in the company that I don’t want to pursue the job offer. I thought they will bring up the penalty and all but they offered me a different job offer. Still a part-time teaching job but in the field I specialize in and they become more lenient with my work schedule (it felt like they’re now willing to adjust) and even offered a higher hourly rate.

Though, I still have some reservations. What do you guys think? Is this kind of an employment trap or an honest-to-goodness offer? What can I do that will not put me at a disadvantage later on IF I decide to accept this current offer? What can I ask/demand from the company so that I’m sure that they will be fair?

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I think you can start by getting a copy of the new contract to look over and if you choose to sign, keep your copy. You should also get a copy of the current contract you signed.


This before anything else. If they refuse, they don’t deserve the proverbial time of day, even if you’re desperate. :2cents:

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@StrugglingStudent I have a lot of experience with contracts and NDA stuff. So if your party time job salary isn’t 100K they cannot charge it as a penalty.

Remember contract needs to be fair for both parties, if only one part has more benefits than the another in the contract, it becomes invalidate in case of a legal dispute.

If they are threatening you, say to them to DUCK OFF and you are talking with your embassy, they will back off.


Now that is what I need! :partying_face:


I think I’m too old-minded to consider a party job. :grin:

But I’m now at the crossroad with this company. So basically they don’t want to work with me anymore because I didn’t have a concrete response to their last offer. They just told me that I breached the contract and they will follow their company’s policy.

They didn’t mention anything about enforcing the penalty yet, though. But my friend told me to still ask for the contract. Does it sound assertive if I asked for it now even though they have not brought up the penalty?

I’m not a very confrontational person and would like to avoid conflict unless the other party started it. What should be the proper response for now given the content of their latest message?

do they owe you salary… yes = ask for it./ no=forget about it end communication with them.

edit… i mean to say please dont worry about this. you can always ask the labor dept for advice/ notify them… but try not to worry.

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It sounds like the other party started it a long time ago.

I’m thinking Dear X, unfortunately I cannot consider your latest offer or any other offer from you unless and until I receive a copy of the contract which you claim I have breached. I actually need a copy anyway, for my personal records and because I may need to defend myself against your claim in court, so please send it to me ASAP. Thank you!

If they want something in return for that, do yourself a favor and just kiss them and their arrogance goodbye. There are other buxbians in the sea. :fish: :blowfish: :tropical_fish: :fishing_pole_and_fish: :fish_cake: :2cents:

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