Korean Workplace Discrimination Laws

There are numerous Korean labor and employment laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees in a Korean workplace. These Korean workplace discrimination laws are found in a myriad of Korean statutes and regulations. This article on Korea’s discrimination laws shall provide a quick guide as to where employers and employees can locate the basic requirements under law. The major pieces of legislation are the following: the Korean Labor Standards Act; the Korean Equal Employment Opportunity Act; the Korean Fixed-term Workers Act; and the Act on Prohibition of Age Discrimination in Employment and Elderly Employment Promotion of Korea. The Labor Standards Act of Korea The Labor Standards Act (“LSA”) is one of the primary sources of labor law in Korea and provides minimum standards for conditions of all employment. As far as discrimination is concerned, Article 6 of the LSA prohibits employers in Korea from discriminating based on gender.

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How to Invest in Korean Free Economic Zones (KFEZs): Korean Market Entry

Korean Free Economic Zones (KFEZs) are specially designated areas designed to improve the business and living environments for foreign firms looking to invest in Korea. In 2003, Korea’s very first KFEZ was launched in Incheon following the passing of the adoption of the “Act on Designation and Management of the Free Economic Zones.” Since then an additional seven have begun operation, bringing the grand total of KFEZs in Korea to eight. Companies with business in KFEZs are eligible for tax credits and other incentives under the Foreign Investment Promotion Act (FIPA). FIPA’s recent amendments passed in 2019 to provide better analysis on FDI impact on the Korean economy. For an article on this issue please: Revision to Korea’s Foreign Investment Promotion Act. As shown above, there are KFEZs operating in Incheon, Busan-Jinhae, Gwangyang Bay Area, Daegu-Gyeongbuk, Saemangeum-Gunsan, the Yellow Sea Coastal Area, and in Chungbuk. Each FEZ focuses on attracting

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Korean Arbitration: An Introduction

Korean Arbitration has come a long way since the ratification of the New York Convention in 1973. The Korean Commercial Arbitration Board (KCAB) went from a small organization handling a handful of cases to, now, and organization handling hundred of arbitration cases each year. The number of international arbitrations is, also, on the rise. This article shall give readers the backstory of how Korean arbitration as a dispute mechanism tool has developed over the years in Korea; review the key industries involved in arbitration; and provide a quick overview of the mainstay arbitration institution in Korea: the KCAB. 1973 – 2020: Arbitration in Korea Over the Years The Korea Arbitration Act was enacted into law in 1966. The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, aka the “New York Arbitration Convention” or “New York Convention,” is the Magna Carta of international arbitration. The New Arbitration Convention was

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Suspending Korean Workers without Pay due to Economic Fallout from the Coronavirus: Korean Employment Law Basics

IPG has numerous client-employers in Korea that are facing serious economic conditions because of the spread of the coronavirus across Korea. In my nearly two decades, in Korea, we have never seen such a dire situation. This situation seems, on its face, even more dire for those in F & B and certain manufacturing sectors than the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (IMF Crisis). Yes, I was even in Korea during the Asian Financial Crisis. Korea, as of the writing of this post, is approaching 6,000 confirmed cases (35 confirmed deaths) of the novel coronavirus. While arguments exist that this virus is less serious, in the aggregate, than the seasonal flu, the reality is that business in Korea, and throughout much of the world, has been drastically affected by COVID-19. Some of these companies doing business in Korea have no logical choice but to, among other things, temporarily layoff workers, reduce

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Challenging an Arbitrator at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board

In our last post we discussed, at length, the benefits of arbitration in Korea over litigation in a Korean court. We shall be updating the reader of numerous issues related to arbitration over the next couple of weeks. The following posts concerns challenging of an arbitrator at the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board. Thus, what happens in a situation when you, as a party in a Korean arbitration, feel that the arbitrator is acting in a manner inconsistent with his or her duties as an arbitrator? At a minimum, all arbitrator should be “independent and impartial” and “capable” – the vast majority of arbitrators are independent, impartial and capable. However, issues can sometimes arise that require the challenging of the arbitrator – we suggest proceeding with caution and care – an unsuccessful challenge can, of course, prejudize your case. Impartiality/Independence of an Arbitrator in Korea Korean Law lays out the duties

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Korea Due Diligence for Joint Ventures, Licensing, OEMs and Buying a Korean Company

Intending to execute a joint venture agreement with a Korean company? Buying a Korean company? Licensing technology to a Korean company? OEM with a Korean supplier? Selling to a Korean company?Before going to bed with a Korean company (or individual) do a little due diligence.  The motivation for this article is an article by my friends over at the China Law Blog. Due diligence in Korea is not much different than due diligence in China.  However, don’t forget what is said below: “get someone who truly knows what he or she is doing” to assist with the due diligence.  We see too many Korean lawyers and Korean business professionals with a lot of ego, but little on-the-ground high-level Korean experience or an inability to think strategically and proactively.  The few great due diligence professionals in Korea are, typically, not found easily at the ubiquitous Korean Law Firms, because of issues

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The Case for Arbitration over Litigation in Korea

Many of you are prospectively weighing the options of executing contracts with and without arbitration clauses in Korean contracts (aka setting yourself up for prospective litigation battles in Korean courts or resolving a dispute in Korea with the help of an arbitration panel). Thus, this article is intended to consider the option of arbitration over litigation in Korea. In most cases, IPG recommends arbitration over litigation for expat companies doing business in Korea and/or with Korean companies. While of course every case is unique, we at IPG have found great success over the years fighting for our clients amidst the backdrop of arbitration. Our Korean International Arbitration Team was, recently, ranked the top Dispute Resolution Firm in Korea. Benefits of Korean Arbitration over Litigation in Korean Courts Language: If you are not a native to Korea, there is a high chance that you do not speak the Korean language fluently

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Leading Commercial Arbitration Law Firm in Korea

IPG is one of the leading Korean law firms retained for international arbitration matters by multinational companies in need of efficient, proactive and non-conflicted advocacy in Korea, North America and East Asia. IPG was recently ranked as a top Dispute Resolution Law Firm. We work on complex international commercial arbitration disputes, investor-State arbitration disputes, construction arbitration disputes, and a myriad of other commercial disputes for international companies doing business in Korea and/or with Korean companies. Locally Connected – Globally Experienced: International Arbitration Team IPG is, often, chosen over the ubiquitous Korean-based law firms when non-conflicted, aggressive and efficient advocacy is necessary for success. We are, intentionally, different from the crowd. All international arbitration matters are personally handled by attorneys with significant international and local experience. our attorneys have judicial, large law firm, in house and/or government experience and most have studied and practiced law in Korea & abroad. IPG shall

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IPG Korea Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the Year

IPG’s Korean Office was awarded the distinction as the Korea Dispute Resolution Law Firm of the year by a well-known international business journal in the United Kingdom. The journal is known for producing tailored news and guides for multinational companies doing business in Asia, North America and Europe. IPG is thrilled that, based on feedback from a survey, our frankness, street-smart advice, non-conflicted advocacy and efficiencies created by a cutting-edge case management system was highly appreciated by our clients. For a consultation with an attorney in Korea please: Contact IPG.

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Korean Arbitration Basics: Links to Relevant Resources in Korea.

IPG, over the next couple of weeks, shall be updating readers of the The Korean Law Blog on issues concerning arbitration in Korea and against Korean companies. We have posted over a dozen articles to date. We shall be posting more article on arbitration over the next couple of weeks. This present post is simply a few arbitration-related links in Korea. We shall be updating this list when more useful and credible information is available. Korean Arbitration Links Korean Commercial Arbitration Board Korean Arbitration Act Seoul International Dispute Resolution Center Korea Medical Dispute Meditation & Arbitration Center Articles on Korean Arbitration (Korean Law Blog) Substantive quality information on arbitration, in Korea, is not easily obtainable in English (and even in Korean), thus, we here at IPG felt the need to share more information on Korean arbitration. If anyone has any topics that are of interest, please Contact Us. We plan

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Korean Smart City Opportunities for Foreign and Domestic Companies Doing Business in Korea

The Korean government’s “2020 Smart Challenge” is officially rolling out with the Act on the Promotion of Smart City Development and Industry of Korea. The Act is coming into effect on Feb. 27, 2020. The Korean government is, specifically, launching three separate projects called: Korean City Challenge Open to large, SMEs and startup companies. Intended to encourage creative and technological solutions to problems in cities. Smart-mobility may be a large focus of the governments initiative. Korean Town Challenge Open to large, SMEs and startup companies. Intended to encourage businesses to create localized solutions to issues facing towns. Korean Solution Challenge Open to large, SMEs and startup companies. Intended to encourage the creation of smart solutions to issues facing towns and cities. such as smart crosswalks, smart playgrounds and other one-off solutions to issues. This 2020 Smart Challenge initiative shall be under a regulatory sandbox (an enclosed environment, supported by a

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Korea prepares itself for Big Data-driven 4th Industrial Revolution: Korean Data Protection Laws Revised

On January 9, 2020, the National Assembly of Korea passed the “Three Data Act” of Korea. Implementation of the Act shall begin in June of 2020. The Korean Three Data Act iterates protections for, in general: personal information; information and communication; and business & individual credit information. IPG shall be writing more on this data protection issue over the next couple of months, please check back for more details. Three Data Act of Korea According to an article entitled the “Major Revisions and Significance of The Three Data Act” from the Legal Times, there are four major changes. “1. The personal information system shall be clearly divided into three sub-categories: personal information, pseudonym information, and anonymous information. Specifically, for pseudonym information, detailed regulations shall be established. 2. The Personal Information Protection Commission’s role shall be changed to a unified supervisory organization over all personal information. 3. All provisions related to

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Expanding your business into Asia? Use Korea as a Test Bed

So you want to expand into China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia (Asia)? We here at IPG suggest considering Seoul, Korea as a Test Bed for your Asian expansion. The following article’s focus is on Luxury Goods and Fintech, but IPG believes that the Korean Market is, also, an excellent stepping off point for other industries including F & B, Defense, Franchise, Automotive, High Tech, New Tech, Retail and Fourth Industrial Revolution industries. Another article that may be of interest, that we posted a few years back, is an article on Using Korea as a Test Market for Asian Expansion: The Facebook Example. If you have any questions, we are always here for a consultation. Korea as a Test Market/Test Bed for your Company’s Asian Expansion Many savvy companies have, successfully, utilized the Seoul, Korean market to test the Asian waters. For example, luxury powerhouse, Louis Vuitton, opened a uniquely designed

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Avvo Top-Rated Lawyer: Sean Hayes

Avvo, a website that eases the challenge of finding the right lawyer, rated Sean Hayes at the top with the highest achievable score. This superb rating is significant in the fact that it is determined after taking various factors into consideration: experience, background, legal community recognition, legal thought leadership and discipline. Reiterating a little bit of his background: over his 16+ years in Korea, Sean is known for his aggressive advocacy and candid NY-style street-smart advice. He is also one of the few attorneys in Asia with experience managing non-consulting companies and working as an interim HR Manager. Please refer to his Avvo account for more information. Congratulations, Sean!

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BCCK Christmas Lunch 2019

Through the Christmas Lunch 2019, the British Chamber of Commerce in Korea (BCCK) lived up to its claim that “even Santa knows it’s the best event in Seoul.” The BCCK event was comprised of the whole package: festive food, drinks, music, games, gifts, an auction and sing-alongs. IPG proudly won three charity prize auctions and Sean Hayes, attorneys from IPG, guests and friends of IPG attended the event and are looking forward to more events from the BCCK this coming year. Setting Christmas “jumpers” and colorful “trousers” (the British way of saying sweaters and pants:) as this year’s theme brightened up the whole atmosphere and increased the level of merriment. The BCCK is a non-profit organization promoting the development of British trade, commerce and investment in Korea through its business services and networking opportunities. It is, also, encompasses a great group of people. Refer to the BCCK website for more

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Deutscher Club Seoul: Christmas Dinner 2019

As Christmas day is nearing this holiday season, numerous Christmas events are taking place around the city of Seoul. One of the best events that we at IPG Legal are proud to be a corporate sponsor of this event by the Deutscher Club. The Deutscher Club Seoul (the German Club Seoul) once again organized a ‘Weihnachtsdinner’ (Christmas dinner), celebrating the season with good drinks and food. The Deutscher Club created a great platform for people with a common interest to come together and partake in events around Seoul. Besides festivities, the Deutscher Club Seoul also enables its members to discover Seoul culturally through various organized events. Visit Deutscher Club for more information. We, highly, recommend all interested in Germany, the German language and meeting a cadre of great individuals to consider the event.

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