Wed, Oct 22, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Foreigners risk labor cases

SNITCHES GET RICHES:Malice has motivated people to turn in foreigners on labor law violations, an official said, adding that tips on lawbreakers result in rewards

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Many foreign professionals are unknowingly in violation of labor regulations, the Taipei City Government’s Department of Labor said.

The department yesterday called upon other government bureaus to pay close attention to the legal status of any foreigner hired to help with the upcoming World Design Capital and 2017 Taipei Summer Universiade.

Taipei’s 17,000 white-collar foreign professionals comprise almost a fifth of the city’s foreign labor force. However, many foreign professionals are unclear about important details of labor regulations, Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office head Chen Hui-chi (陳惠琪) said, adding that this leaves foreigners vulnerable to being reported by grudge-holding colleagues and acquaintances.

All work requires a work permit and may be completed only at a single approved address, Chen said, adding that foreigners should not begin any work until they have received their official permits.

She said permits are tied to a single employer and any side work is illegal, including individual English-language tutoring.

Because the performing arts are considered work under labor regulations, foreigners should be careful about allowing themselves to be recorded singing or dancing, she said.

“To someone who bears you ill will, such recordings are all evidence that they can use,” she said, adding that most cases handled by the department involve foreigners being turned in by Taiwanese colleagues or acquaintances.

While the department realizes that many accusations arise from personal malice, if presented with clear evidence of work permit violations, they are obligated to enforce the law, she said.

She added that if violations are proven, the whistle-blower is entitled to a NT$10,000 (US$330) reward.

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