Elizabeth Pai and Hannah Kuo
The Amendment to Article 45 of the Labor Union Act was adopted by the Legislative Yuan by three readings on November 15, 2022, and promulgated by the President on November 30, 2022. The Amendment triples the existing fines for labor misconduct by employers against labor unions and adds a new penalty, which is publishing the names of employers and their legal representatives, so as to protect the exercise of employees’ right to solidarity, negotiations, and disputes and to deter employers from treating employees unfavorably because of employees’ organization, membership, or participation in union activities or assumption of union positions or otherwise improperly affecting or obstructing the operation and autonomy of labor unions.
Article 35, Paragraph 1 of the current Labor Union Act stipulates that an employer or a person exercising managerial authority on behalf of an employer shall not commit the following labor misconducts against a labor union:
1. Refusal of employment, dismissal, demotion, pay reduction, or other unfavorable treatment of employees for organizing labor unions, joining labor unions, participating in laborunion activities, or holding labor union positions.
2. The requirement that employees or job seekers should not join labor unions or hold labor union positions as a condition of employment.
3. Refusal of employment, dismissal, demotion, pay reduction, or other unfavorable treatment of employees for requesting collective bargaining or participating in matters related to collective bargaining.
4. Dismissal, demotion, pay reduction, or other unfavorable treatment of employees for their participation in, or support of, industrial action.
5. Undue influence, hindrance, or restriction on the establishment, organization, or activities of labor unions.
Article 45 of the newly amended Labor Union Act stipulates that if an employer or a person exercising managerial authority on behalf of the employer engages in labor misconduct in violation of Article 35, and a decision has been made accordance with the Act for Settlement of Labor-Management Disputes, the central competent authority shall impose a fine of NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 on the employer, and shall publish the name of the employer, the name of its legal representative, the date of the penalty, the provisions violated, and the amount of the fine. The competent authority may impose a fine of NT$200,000 to NT$1,000,000 on the employer for failure to act within the period stipulated in the decision or for failure to act, may order the employer to rectify within the stated period, and may impose the penalty continuously for each instance if no rectification is made within the period.
The newly amended provisions have come into effect from January 16, 2023.
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