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Breaking Contract (sorta), two week notice but....

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  • Breaking Contract (sorta), two week notice but....

    Last week, I had accepted an offer for a full time job in Japan, and notified my boss the next day (like 16 days notice) that i would be quitting the morning hours of the company (since my new job would not allow me to do morning classes any more), but would still be working the hours i could still do with my new work schedule.

    It seemed fine, even telling the schools that I was dispatched to that I would help the new teacher replacing me even after I leave, but then when I inform the other school that i'm being "lent" to about my plans to quit, they present to me a written notice they seemed to had written up themselves. The letter they presented me goes as follows:

    "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan. An official complaint can be made and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked and the foreigner will be deported. The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.

    To (Me)

    Eikawa will make this formal complaint with the Japanese Immigration on behalf of Eikawa and Eikawa 2.

    1. It is against the law to sign 2 contracts that are conflicting. In that case the other company must be informed in this case the new company must be informed.

    2. Proper Prior notice to leave a job is one month notice.

    I (Me) have read and understood."

    Is this more of a bluff? or am i really going to be forced to stay with a company that threatens me or risk not ever working in Japan again? My friends that I did get to talk about this with seem to agree that this is bs... but i just want some more insight from others in Japan.

    Any feedback would be appreciated

  • #2
    Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
    Last week, I had accepted an offer for a full time job in Japan, and notified my boss the next day (like 16 days notice) that i would be quitting the morning hours of the company (since my new job would not allow me to do morning classes any more), but would still be working the hours i could still do with my new work schedule.

    It seemed fine, even telling the schools that I was dispatched to that I would help the new teacher replacing me even after I leave, but then when I inform the other school that i'm being "lent" to about my plans to quit, they present to me a written notice they seemed to had written up themselves. The letter they presented me goes as follows:

    "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan. An official complaint can be made and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked and the foreigner will be deported. The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.

    To (Me)

    Eikawa will make this formal complaint with the Japanese Immigration on behalf of Eikawa and Eikawa 2.

    1. It is against the law to sign 2 contracts that are conflicting. In that case the other company must be informed in this case the new company must be informed.

    2. Proper Prior notice to leave a job is one month notice.

    I (Me) have read and understood."

    Is this more of a bluff? or am i really going to be forced to stay with a company that threatens me or risk not ever working in Japan again? My friends that I did get to talk about this with seem to agree that this is bs... but i just want some more insight from others in Japan.

    Any feedback would be appreciated
    Give them written notice back. If they have any sense at all the mention of 'union' should scare them! BTW you should really contact the union immediately, too! Even if the school is right at all i think they really screwed up by making illegal threats and they even gave it to you in writing!!! Try to get an 'official' copy of their letter with their hanko on it. You can tell them that if they won't give you that then their letter is meaningless. Don't give any hint of what you are about to hit them with. After you get their official letter give them your letter:

    To: Mr. Eikawa

    If you have a problem with me then please negotiate reasonably. If you act in a friendly manner we might be able to have a conversation. However making empty threats destroys any chance of keeping cordial relations between us. I would prefer to leave on friendly terms with you. However if you want a legal battle then I am quite willing to give it to you. I have contacted the union and they will help me.

    No work dispute you have with me is an immigration issue. Making false claims about Japanese law and threats against an employee is illegal. Trying to prevent an employeee from leaving a job using false claims is against Japanese labor law. The eikawa teachers union and is going to help me to take legal action against you. I will make a claim against you for compensation for your illegal actions. Also please remember that the community of foreigner language teachers in Japan is a small group. Employers who make nasty and illegal threats to foreign teachers often find it very difficult to hire foreign teachers once the news of this becomes known in the community.

    I have been warned that my actions will damage my school. Sign here:
    Last edited by kabunushi; 2013-05-23, 03:50 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Breaking an employment contract is a civil matter. Nothing criminal about it, unless you do something that is actually criminal. Typical Japanese Eikaiwa management bombast. They cannot have your visa revoked, though they could pursue civil damages which they would likely lose.

      But I agree that you should call the union, and that Offical Letter (i.e. stamped) idea is a great ploy. You could also file your one month notice, work as long as you can, and then just phone in sick, though you might have trouble getting your final paycheck if you pull that one. I pulled a similar maneuver with a Japanese company in Canada, and they huffed and they puffed, and they blew themselves out. It took ages to get them to send me my final paycheck.

      At any rate, just tough it out, and good luck with that new schedule.

      Comment


      • #4
        As I understand it, if you have worked less than one year for an employer, you are obligated by civil law to give 1 month's notice. One could always try to amicably negotiate. If you are there longer than a year, you only have to give 2 weeks' notice.

        As mentioned, it is not ILLEGAL to break a contract. In fact, you actually tried to give sufficient notice. (I say sufficient because there are more foreigners looking for jobs here than there are jobs. It shouldn't be hard for them to find a replacement.)

        Time is a'ticking. Contact either the union (generalunion.org) or your local Labor Standards Office for official help.

        By the way, who is the "other school"?
        but then when I inform the other school that i'm being "lent" to about my plans to quit

        Meanwhile, sign NOTHING that they may give you.

        Lastly, they cannot revoke your visa. The worst that can happen is that they discontinue their sponsorship of it, but the visa will still remain valid (and your new employer will probably take it over, so get a letter of release from the current employer; it's obligated by law when you ask for it, to be given within 7 days).

        Comment


        • #5
          Short answer :

          Why is nobody checking the forum ? I just had this posted some days ago :

          www.generalunion.org/law/lsl.htm‎

          "Q : I want to quit my job. How much notice do I have to give?
          A: This question is not covered under the Labour Standards Law but is based on precedents set in civil courts. It all depends on whether you have a limited or an unlimited term contract, and if you have a limited term contract what contract year you are in.
          Unlimited Term Contract --- two weeks notice is sufficient.

          First year of a one year contract --- you can quit at either the end of the contract or quit by following the procedures laid out in the contract for quitting. If you don't follow these rules your company has a theoretical claim against you but can only act on this by using civil court procedures.

          Second year (plus) of a renewed one year contract --- two weeks notice could be sufficient in most cases.

          The union recommends that you try to follow your employment contract as much as possible, as this is what we expect from employers.

          Q: I want to quit my job before the end of my contract and now my employer won't pay me this months' wages. He also wants me to pay a fine of one month's salary. Is this allowed?
          A: No. Your employer cannot set a predetermined fine for quitting during your contract (Article 16). Furthermore your employer must provide you with all outstanding wages, tax forms and a certificate of employment within seven days of you leaving your job (Article 23).
          If this happens, it is very easy to retrieve both the fine and the back wages using the union's expertise and the Labour Standards Office.

          If you do quit your job without the proper notice you may be liable for damages, but the company must actually prove business damage in a civil court for you to have to pay any damages regarding your quitting. In the last 15 years we have only seen one employer sue for damages relating to an employees sudden resignation and the employer lost the case."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
            They present to me a written notice they seemed to had written up themselves. The letter they presented me goes as follows:

            "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan. An official complaint can be made and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked and the foreigner will be deported. The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.

            To (Me)

            Eikawa will make this formal complaint with the Japanese Immigration on behalf of Eikawa and Eikawa 2.

            1. It is against the law to sign 2 contracts that are conflicting. In that case the other company must be informed in this case the new company must be informed.

            2. Proper Prior notice to leave a job is one month notice.

            I (Me) have read and understood."
            a) I had to do some research into labor law and under law, there is no restriction of working for several employees at the same time as long as the regulations in the law are followed, e.g. maximum work time per day/month, etc. Many people on this forum actually do work several jobs. Ask your employer to show you the passage in the labor law. There is none.
            b) However, in the labor contract, the company can require you to either not work for a competitor (or other company) or get prior approval. Check your contract and make sure you're not breaching it.
            c) As said in the previous post, the proper notification for employers is 1 month, but it is vague for employees. Do you have any holiday left ? Remaining holidays are included in the notice period and you'r not supposed to give this up. So if you have e.g. 15 days of holidays left, you can give 1 month notice, work 1 weeksand take the other three weeks off. Personally, I'd rather compromise and give 4 weeks notice. Your new school should understand this. What does your contract say ?
            d) Immigration is rather concerned about illegal things such as overstaying, working outside the allowed scope, etc. I doubt that they will get involved if someone quits his/her job early to get another one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
              "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan.
              Lie. Definitely not a criminal offense.

              Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
              An official complaint can be made
              True (anyone can always complain about anything)

              Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
              and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked
              Lie.

              Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
              and the foreigner will be deported.
              Lie.

              Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
              The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.
              Lie.

              You cannot trust anything that comes out of these people's mouths. You should tell them that too - point out their lies and see how they respond.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kabunushi View Post
                Give them written notice back. If they have any sense at all the mention of 'union' should scare them! BTW you should really contact the union immediately, too! Even if the school is right at all i think they really screwed up by making illegal threats and they even gave it to you in writing!!! Try to get an 'official' copy of their letter with their hanko on it. You can tell them that if they won't give you that then their letter is meaningless. Don't give any hint of what you are about to hit them with. After you get their official letter give them your letter:
                I see, so I should just present them a letter of my own and just leave it like that? They already gave me 2 copies of their letter, with one being looked at by some friends and other people they know about this issue. I have one copy still, but ya I'll try to get a hanko on it without signing my self.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Edit: found the multiple quote option! next time i'll use that! Also I only worked five months for the Eikawa 1 and two months for Eikawa 2... after reading the replies and blogs about this, it does and it doesn't make a difference

                  And sorry, i don't really know how to quote multiple people on this...

                  Glenski: The other school is my new employer for full time. They want to bring them in on the complaint but neither of my bosses know who the company is besides that it is an ALT company.

                  Kurogane: Ok, I will ask my friend today when I see him about contacting the union.

                  ttokyo: see the thing is I don't even know what kind of contract it is. The thing that worries me though is that while i was being dispatched at another school, the teacher there was telling me that they never made a contract with me and that it would be easy for me to just go work directly for them instead.

                  And yes I read that thread first, I just was in a panicked mode and wanted confirmation from others about the issue after reading it.

                  Not sure if there was even talk about sick days/holidays.... But I have yet to miss a single day of work at any of the schools.
                  Last edited by ssjtennsi1; 2013-05-23, 10:40 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
                    Last week, I had accepted an offer for a full time job in Japan, and notified my boss the next day (like 16 days notice) that i would be quitting the morning hours of the company (since my new job would not allow me to do morning classes any more), but would still be working the hours i could still do with my new work schedule.

                    It seemed fine, even telling the schools that I was dispatched to that I would help the new teacher replacing me even after I leave, but then when I inform the other school that i'm being "lent" to about my plans to quit, they present to me a written notice they seemed to had written up themselves. The letter they presented me goes as follows:

                    "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan. An official complaint can be made and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked and the foreigner will be deported. The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.

                    To (Me)

                    Eikawa will make this formal complaint with the Japanese Immigration on behalf of Eikawa and Eikawa 2.

                    1. It is against the law to sign 2 contracts that are conflicting. In that case the other company must be informed in this case the new company must be informed.

                    2. Proper Prior notice to leave a job is one month notice.

                    I (Me) have read and understood."

                    Is this more of a bluff? or am i really going to be forced to stay with a company that threatens me or risk not ever working in Japan again? My friends that I did get to talk about this with seem to agree that this is bs... but i just want some more insight from others in Japan.

                    Any feedback would be appreciated
                    If this were all true, why would they have to bother asking you to sign it?

                    Tear it up and return the little pieces to them.

                    Angrily,
                    A.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
                      Last week, I had accepted an offer for a full time job in Japan, and notified my boss the next day (like 16 days notice) that i would be quitting the morning hours of the company (since my new job would not allow me to do morning classes any more), but would still be working the hours i could still do with my new work schedule.

                      It seemed fine, even telling the schools that I was dispatched to that I would help the new teacher replacing me even after I leave, but then when I inform the other school that i'm being "lent" to about my plans to quit, they present to me a written notice they seemed to had written up themselves. The letter they presented me goes as follows:

                      "it is a criminal offense to break a work contract of one or more years in Japan. An official complaint can be made and a foreigner's Visa can or will be revoked and the foreigner will be deported. The criminal will not be allowed to work in Japan again.

                      To (Me)

                      Eikawa will make this formal complaint with the Japanese Immigration on behalf of Eikawa and Eikawa 2.

                      1. It is against the law to sign 2 contracts that are conflicting. In that case the other company must be informed in this case the new company must be informed.

                      2. Proper Prior notice to leave a job is one month notice.

                      I (Me) have read and understood."

                      Is this more of a bluff? or am i really going to be forced to stay with a company that threatens me or risk not ever working in Japan again? My friends that I did get to talk about this with seem to agree that this is bs... but i just want some more insight from others in Japan.

                      Any feedback would be appreciated
                      Bunches of good advice from the others. Mentioning the union and labour Office is a must. The company can not do anything to get your visa revoked. It seems you have tried to give as much notice as possible. Sign nothing, keep everything written they send you, and remember, they can not withhold any salary as penalty.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
                        Glenski: The other school is my new employer for full time. They want to bring them in on the complaint but neither of my bosses know who the company is besides that it is an ALT company.
                        Be careful here! Eikaiwa and ALT work require different work visas!

                        Eikaiwa fall under the Humanities Specialist/International Relations work visa.
                        ALT falls under the Instructor work visa.

                        You can work for either type of employer, but you can have only one visa. It must be for the type of employer where you are making the largest amount of money (and typically is the visa sponsor). However, if you do that, you must get special permission from immigration to have the second job of a different visa field.
                        http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/te...hikakugai.html
                        http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/te...hyorui/09.html

                        ttokyo: see the thing is I don't even know what kind of contract it is.
                        What do you mean, "type of contract"? Just tell us what the clauses say.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Glenski View Post
                          Be careful here! Eikaiwa and ALT work require different work visas!

                          Eikaiwa fall under the Humanities Specialist/International Relations work visa.
                          ALT falls under the Instructor work visa.

                          You can work for either type of employer, but you can have only one visa. It must be for the type of employer where you are making the largest amount of money (and typically is the visa sponsor). However, if you do that, you must get special permission from immigration to have the second job of a different visa field.
                          http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/te...hikakugai.html
                          http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/english/te...hyorui/09.html

                          What do you mean, "type of contract"? Just tell us what the clauses say.
                          Ya, I was told that I would have to go change my visa to the Instructor Visa as they offered me the position.

                          In terms of the contract... well this is going to sound boneheaded of me, but I never received a copy of the contract (or it perhaps didn't exist according to teachers at the kindergarten that I was dispatched to when I was being introduced to them) and don't remember what I read last year. I'm guessing this could potentially hurt me in numerous ways yes?
                          The good thing is is that I patched things up with the Eikawa that originally hired me that would have my contract, so there shouldn't be any trouble... just have to deal with the second Eikawa that is trying to scare me now.

                          Thanks for all responses everyone! Your replies really caused for many sighs of relief as I read the replies.

                          I hope anyone that comes into a similar situation can read this and use it to assure themselves that they don't have to worry about it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ssjtennsi1 View Post
                            In terms of the contract... well this is going to sound boneheaded of me, but I never received a copy of the contract
                            Yup, boneheaded. No offense intended.

                            (or it perhaps didn't exist
                            Yeah, right.

                            The good thing is is that I patched things up with the Eikawa that originally hired me that would have my contract, so there shouldn't be any trouble
                            Good.

                            ... just have to deal with the second Eikawa that is trying to scare me now.
                            Now what?

                            And, what do you mean second eikaiwa? Previously you wrote "ALT company".
                            Last edited by Glenski; 2013-05-24, 07:18 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Two more things :
                              + Feel free to sign/hanko/date the company's letter but only after you write something like 'Received but not agreed'. Keep a copy as evidence for the employers 'abusive' behaviour.
                              + Not having a contract is bad. I'd be concerned about the last paycheck. Do you have any other documentation that proves that you worked a certain number of hours, e.g. time sheets ? From now on, I'd probably only continue working if they sign off after each hour worked, so that they don't screw you (what they apparently try to do anyway).

                              Comment

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