In most cases involving employment issues concerning foreign language teachers and hagwons (not company executives), Korean labor lawyers may not be a cost-effective means of handling your dispute. Often a Nomusa (노무사) is an adequate means to resolve the dispute with your employer.
A Nomusa is, however, often not adequate for high-net worth individuals, company executives and for complex cases. These type matters, often, should be filed to a court or shall be, likely, appealed from a Korean Labor Board to a court. A Nomusa may not handle cases in Korean Courts. Additionally, often the skills and experience of Korean lawyers are essential in the more complex, unique and many cases concerning foreigners.
Simple, a Nomusa is a licensed labor professional (not a “Labor Lawyer”).
These individuals, often, market themselves as Korean Labor Attorneys, however, this title is not an accurate title for these individuals. A Nomusa is not an attorney and may only file claims to the Ministry of Employment & Labor/Labor Boards and are unable to take cases to Korean courts. All determinations by the Ministry of Employment & Labor may be appealed to a Korean Court.
However, a Nomusa is, often, adequate for resolving your dispute with your Hagwon. However, it is often advisable, prior to hiring a Nomusa, to have a Korean law firm forward a demand letter to the Hagwon. We find, often, a Demand Letter leads to prompt resolution to many matters. Also, decent law firms can refer you to an adequate Nomusa.
Again, if you are an executive with a Korean conglomerate, a high net-worth individual receiving a salary commensurate with your net worth, a company executive or have a unique matter – it is advisable to bite the bullet and retain a Korean Attorney.
Known for his proactive street-smart advice & non-conflicted advocacy, NY Attorney Sean Hayes works with leading retired Korean judges, prosecutors and experienced Korean attorneys in leading contentious and transactional matters in Asia. First non-Korean lawyer employed by the Korean Court System. SeanHayes@ipglegal.com
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