Finally some good news for China's 29,000+ foreign teachers and other expat workers who seldom ever collect their last paycheck when changing jobs. President Xi Jin Ping sent a directive to China's courts that legal discrimination between Chinese and Foreign plaintiffs would no longer be tolerated and now even punished. (No specific punishment was specified, however). Apparently, this message went out six months ago, and the last three cases brought to China's courts for violating the employee rights of expat workers gained traction and prevailed. Although China's court records are not public, we learned that the three teachers won settlements that average 570,000 or roughly 90,000 each in cases alleging forced unpaid overtime, an illegal contract, and violation of China's Privacy Act that now also covers foreigners living in China - legally.
The following is legally prohibited by China's Labor Laws and employee rights relating to expat workers who now have the same identical legal protections as Chinese executives:
* Unpaid Overtime
* Being Used As A Marketing Monkey
* Having your personal image used in promotions
* Having your personal information disclosed to third parties
* Not getting a copy of your original chopped contract in English
* Not knowing the ownership identification of your employer
* Not knowing the SAIC business license No.of your employer
* Not being provided a written job description
* Being told to lie to customers about your citizenship or credentials
* Being given illegal probationary periods exceeding 30 days
* Being forced to sign illegal contracts
* Not given 72 hours advance notice of work schedule changes
* Not provided the proper Z work visa required by law
* Being forced to pay money for your release letter or Z visa
* Not being provided medical insurance as a full-time employee
* Not being paid within 48 working hours of a regular payday
* Illegal deductions and "deposits" withheld from your pay
* The right to see your employment tax records and receipts
Teachers who find themselves being exploited by schools and or recruiters now have plenty of ammunition to fight back in a meaningful way that not only gets results but serves as a deterrent for future abuses. Companies with having to pay a $90,000 settlement, reimburse your legal fees (about 20,000 rmb, and a SAFEA, PSB, or SAIC fine of 100,000 rmb) are not likely going to be playing more games with expat employees.
The CFTU and Renmin University Law School provides free legal guides about the employee rights of foreign workers and we suggest you read them ASAP. **Of course, do not even think of suing anyone if you are working illegally in China without a Z visa that matches your invitation letter, or YOU will be in for a bitter cup of tea when they arrest and deport YOU!"**
HERE ARE YOUR 15 BASIC EMPLOYEE RIGHTS IN CHINA. IF YOU WANT ALL 367 PAGES OF CHINA LAW, VISIT THE LAW LIBRARY OF RENMIN UNIVERSITY (Line 4 & 10) IN HAIDIAN DISTRICT OR CONTACT THE CFTU FOR A COPY
1. You have the right to seek and obtain employment if legally allowed to do so after obtaining a work visa (Z visa) and resident permit.
2. You have the right to work in a safe work environment.
3. You have a right to be provided a written work schedule in advance.
4. You have a right speak with management about safety concerns
5. You have a right to sick, holiday, and maternity leave & pay
6. You have a right to resign your position in accordance with the law
7. You have a right to request job training
8. You have a right to pay your taxes to the government authorities and to file a grievance with the Labor Arbitration Authority in your Province
9. You have the right to be compensated for overtime hours worked and may not be compelled to work said hours if not stipulated in your employment agreement.
10. You have the right to receive an original hard copy of your contract that is signed and chopped (red sealed) at the time you sign an employee agreement.
11. You have the right to receive a written job description prior to signing your
12. You cannot be compelled nor forced to do anything not specified in your job description.
13. Your probationary period cannot exceed one month for each year of your employment contract.
14. You have the right to receive both an invitation letter and release letter free of charge.
15. If hired by a duly authorized employer you have a right to be provided a work visa (Z Visa) prior to the commencement of your assigned duties.
More about this subject can be found at http://reddit.com/r/chinascamcentral and http://reddit.com/r/tef_esl_scams. And speaking of Reddit, be aware that one of the mods at the TEFL sub (China Donkey and another Reddit mod with user name Tan_Guan) are both active TEFL recruiters who regularly censor factual information like this, along with arrests of foreign teachers, and anything else that makes it difficult for them to snooker newbie teachers into coming to China to work illegally or to buy a TEFL certificate they are falsely told is "required by law". See: http://opnlttr.com/letter/big-tefl-certificate-china-requirement-lie-sca...