A kindergarten was fined NT$300,000 (US$10,300) on Thursday by the New Taipei City (新北市) Labor Affairs Department for discriminating against a Chinese-American jobseeker.
The fine was imposed following a complaint filed by a certified teacher surnamed Chang (張), who said the school had rejected him because of his ethnicity as it preferred to hire a less-qualified white applicant.
Chang said when he called the kindergarten to inquire about the job, he was asked to come in for an interview, but when the school learned he was ethnic Chinese and not white, he was immediately turned down.
It was not the first time he had experienced such discrimination, even though he is a native English speaker and a certified teacher, he said.
After recording his telephone conversation with the employer at the kindergarten, he filed a complaint with the Labor Affairs Department, he said.
The New Taipei City Employment Discrimination Committee investigated his case and found that the employer had acted with bias. The school was fined NT$300,000, the minimum penalty for violating labor laws against discrimination.
Fines for discrimination in the workplace can range from NT$300,000 to NT$1.5 million.
Labor officials said that Article 46 of the Employment Services Act (就業服務法) states it is illegal for kindergartens to hire foreign staff, but may do so if the applicant fits the conditions outlined in Article 48 and Article 51.
These conditions include permanent residency in Taiwan, marriage to a Taiwanese spouse, having lineal relatives with a registered residence or refugee status, the officials said.
Since Chang has lineal relatives living in the country, it is not illegal for him to work as an English teacher in a kindergarten, they said.