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[Q] Holding and Deducting final Pay

My contract finishes at the end of February, and at first, my boss told me that they would hold my pay and make deductions if the housing company could not find a new tenant for my unit.
[The company's name is on the housing contract, and they covered the key money]

When I first started working at the company, they made me pay a deposit of 200,000 won (which only now I discovered was illegal).

After I talked to my boss again, he said I was mistaken and he would be holding my final pay and it would be deducted if there were damages to the housing unit.

However, my husband and I are paying to replace things on our own presently.

What right does he have to without and deduct my pay? Is this okay? What should I do?

By DV | 2020-02-16


1. Hello, this is Ministry of Employment and Labor Counseling Center.


2. According to Article 43 of the Labor Standards Act, payment of wages shall be directly made in full to employees in currency. Provided, That if otherwise prescribed by statutes or by a collective agreement, wages may partially be deducted or may be paid by means other than currency.


- If the employer at your workplace deducted from wages as deposit or any damages to the housing which is not stated in a labor contract, or without your consent, it will be the violation of payment of wages under the Labor Standards Act.


- In this situation, you may ask for a help to the local labor office having the jurisdiction over the workplace by filing a petition against the employer.


- Meanwhile, if you have agreed with the deductions from wages, it shall be an agreement with regard to claim in liquidation and obligation under the Civil Act, and that will be a separate issue with the Labor Standards Act.


3. In addition, according to Article 36 of the Labor Standards Act, when an employee retires, the employer shall pay the wages, compensations, and other money or valuables within 14 days after the cause for such payment occurred. If you have not been paid within the 14 days, you may report it to the local labor office having the jurisdiction over the workplace.


4. We would like to ask your kind understanding that it is difficult to give you a legal judgement without confirming the facts, therefore, we suggest you to ask for a legal judgement to the local labor office.


※ How to file (optional):

① You may visit the local labor office.

<Ministry of Employment and Labor website (→ please go to '기관소개' and click ‘찾아오시는 길’→ go to ‘조직안내’ and refer to ‘소속기관’> in Korean (How to find the local labor office,)

② Online

<Ministry of Employment and Labor website (→ please go to 민원마당 → 민원신청 → 서식민원 → click 임금체불진정신고서 → You may apply it after sign up and log in with the authorized certificate.> in Korean


5. If you have any questions, please call Ministry of Employment and Labor Counseling Center on 1350 (press 4 and 1 for English). Thank you.


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