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Labor and Employment

Korean labor unions appear to be relatively militant, but in reality, just 10% of workers are affiliated with a labor union. There is a deep-seated belief in lifetime employment among Korean workers, and therefore, the dismissal of or a disciplinary action against an employee requires a justifiable cause. Due to this, employers tend to have a minimum level of flexibility in the management of human resources.
 
In addition, due to a number of changes in the employment environment, including an increase in irregular workers and foreign workers, and the development of the service sector, employers are required to understand labor law, including the Labor Relations Act of Korea. The preparation and understanding of employment regulations and contract is regarded as a prerequisite for successfully doing business in Korea.
 
Our Labor and Employment Practice group provides a full spectrum of legal services, including counsel on short-term employment, dispatched workers, and a cost-saving strategy during the restructuring period. In addition, our attorneys counsel employers on stock options, severance and retirement benefits, industrial welfare and safety, rewards and disciplinary actions, corporate downsizing and lockouts, sexual harassment and discriminating acts in the workplace, and unfair competition and confidentiality issues. We also have unsurpassed experience and expertise in representing foreign employers on the termination of Korean executives, which is one of the most sensitive challenges faced by foreign employers doing business in Korea and sometimes leads to negotiation, drafting a complex severance agreement and/or a litigation.
 
We have unrivalled experience in advising on moral hazard issues, including embezzlement and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act related issues, which can affect foreign invested companies. Dealing with these issues requires careful due diligence and investigation, and close cooperation with relevant investigation authorities and competent organizations.
 
Our attorneys provide legal advice on individual employment relationships, including providing advice on employment contracts, rules of employment, wages, disciplinary measures, dismissals, employment insurance, occupational health and safety insurance, as well as collective labor-management relations, such as labor unions, collective bargaining, strikes, and labor-management councils and nonstandard employment relations, including short-term and dispatched workers. We also advise on administrative suits and civil suits that may arise from employment relations and labor-management relations.
 
Our practitioners are well-known for their expertise, which is based on extensive experience advising on workers’ and employers’ duties and rights under the Labor Standards Act, preparing collective agreements and conducting in-depth legal analysis and litigation.

Representation(s)
  • A case filed by retired workers of Korea Railroad Corporation to claim the payment of outstanding paid annual leave entitlements
  • A case filed by irregular workers working at Korea Railroad Corporation as nutritionist or cook to claim the confirmation of the nullification of termination
  • A case filed to seek the nullification of the publication of the time-off system
  • A case filed by Youth Community Union to claim the cancellation of the decision to return the application for the incorporation of a labor union
  • A case filed by the Korean Government Employees’ Union to claim the cancellation of the decision to return the application for the incorporation of a labor union
  • A case filed by the Korean Government Employees’ Union to claim the cancellation of the notice under which it is notified that the Korean Government Employees’ Union does not constitute a labor union
  • A case filed by the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union to claim the cancellation of the order to remedy its union charter
  • A case filed by the Korean Court Employees’ Union to claim the cancellation of the order to remedy its collective bargaining agreement
  • A case filed by irregular workers of KT Corporation to claim the confirmation of the nullification of termination
  • Advising Hyundai Securities, Ssangyong Motor Company, Valeo Electric Systems Korea Ltd., Daeduck Electronics Co., Ltd. and other large companies on collective bargaining, disciplinary actions against union stewards, performance incentives and measures to be taken for the implementation of multiple labor union system
  • Advising transportation service providers, including Hansung Transportation Co., Ltd., Jeonbuk Express Co., Ltd. and Siyoung Transportation Co., Ltd. on the multiple labor union system, industrial labor union, labor union branches, time-off, and labor union offices
  • Representing Hyundai Securities in the case filed to claim the cancellation of the decision on unfair labor practices and the performance of collective bargaining
  • A case filed by a professor of the Seoul National University Hospital to claim the payment of severance pay
  • A case filed to claim the confirmation of the nullification of discipline against an employee of a local cooperative of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives
Address: Barun Law Building, 92 gil 7, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06181 Korea
Tel: 82-2-3476-5599   |   Fax: 82-2-3476-5995   |   Email: contact@barunlaw.com
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