Ask Korea Law

Published by Chung & Partners Since 2008


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[Q&A: Entertainment Law] Can a Film Company Use a Screen Shot Which Contains My Image Without My Consent?

Q) I, as a foreign actress living in Korea, recently appeared in a Korean movie that was very successful. I had about 10 lines – 10 minutes of screen time.  Now I see that the film company has put my picture on the back of the DVD case in which the movie has just been released. They Never asked for my permission and Never paid me any money for this.  Do you believe that I have a case against the film company?  Thank You.

A) I understand a certain portion of movie screen shot is printed on the back side of the DVD case.  In this case, the producer, not an actor, has the right to the screen shot.  So the producer does Continue reading


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[Q&A: Labor Law] Is There a Legally Binding “40 Working Hour a Week Limit” in Korea?

Q) Please could you clean up this question that nobody seems to be willing to answer. Is there a legally binding 40 working hour a week or not in Korea?

A) Yes, there is a 40-work-hours clause in Korean labor law.

The Labor Standard Act of Korea provides that “Work hours shall not exceed 40 hours a week, excluding hours of recess”.

However, in case of workers who are not less than eighteen years of age and women workers who are not in pregnancy, an employer and a workers’ representative can legally agree to extend work hours in excess of 40 hours a week to the extent that Continue reading


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[Q&A] Can an Employer Ban Its Employee from Having an Additional Job under Korean Labor Law?

Basically Korean labor Law doesn’t regulate employee’s having concurrent and/or additional job.  However, most employment agreements(EA) prohibit employees from having additional jobs.  So there have been many cases where employers fire employees based on his or her breach of prohibition of additional job clause in EA.

In this regard, the court’s standpoint is that as having additional job is a matter of privacy Continue reading


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[Q&A] My Spouse Won’t Sign the Divorce Agreement. How Can I Get the Divorce Finalized in Korea?

Q) I’m a U.S. citizen married to a Korean woman having one child.  Currently, we live apart and our child’s living time is split between us. I wouldn’t mind this situation if I knew she could be trusted to care for him safely and properly. But she can’t do this. I’m incredibly worried about his present safety and his emotional development. We have the papers but she won’t sign them, she uses our marital situation to manipulate me. Is there any way I can file for divorce without her consent? If so, where can I do this? Also, what would I need to do to obtain sole parental authority after the divorce?

A) If she keeps refusing to sign the divorce agreement, you have no choice but to file a divorce lawsuit with a Korean court that has jurisdiction over the residence where she resides in order for the divorce to be finalized in Korea. Of course, Continue reading